BUSINESS

Why your employees are booking out of travel policy (and how to fix it)

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Employees booking outside travel policy is a common complaint. And although it’s essential to think of the bottom line, it’s also necessary to consider those using it. For example, you need to consider that not every travel booking can be capped at the same price. No journey or destination is the same. 

Your travel policy needs to be dynamic, easy to understand, achievable and employees need to know it exists.

Your travel policy has the power to affect positive change both now and in the future. It holds power to guide managers and employees in the right direction when travelling and sets out procedures for multiple departments. An excellent travel policy can help your organisation save money, gain clarity and create a smoother experience for the traveller (while delivering fewer headaches for the travel manager!)

Why employees book outside of your travel policy 

As a global travel manager, we know you’re overseeing a lot, from building a travel policy that works, to implementing it and ensuring employees stick to everything outlined in the policy. 

Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with this process, you might still be scratching your head as to why employees continue to book outside policy and break procedure. 

An overarching theme, particularly in the UK, is a focus on traveller well-being. 94% of UK travellers say they would book out of policy if it meant minimising any negative impact on their health and well-being.

Other reasons employees book outside their travel policy:

– current suppliers don’t cover the full needs of the business
– the traveller has booked travel last-minute
– the wording in the travel policy is confusing
– they didn’t realise the policy existed

It would help if you had a travel policy that makes your life easier; a process that makes approving, booking and expensing each business trip clear and straightforward. The policy should seek to make travelling for work as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. 

Let’s dive into how you can run a tight ship when it comes to enforcing your travel policy.

Get input from all departments

The saying “too many cooks” might come to mind, and although everyone has differing opinions on everything, it’s essential to take note of issues currently caused by your travel policy. When you write your policy, you probably think it’s crystal clear with zero confusion. But, that’s where you’re wrong.

When you’ve written something yourself, you’re not the best person to criticise it’s effectiveness, so even though your department understands and absorbs your policies effortlessly; you need to consider that the rest of the organisation might not.

Keep your feedback process on track by asking everyone the same questions. This way, the meeting structure becomes more meaningful and productive rather than meandering down a winding road to nowhere.

Ask direct questions and encourage honest and direct answers. Take the time to collate responses from your sessions to see any common trends or themes you can act on immediately. 

Incorporate your policy into the booking process

Having multiple tabs open can mean you become overwhelmed with too much information. As you book your business trip and ground travel, you don’t want to keep flicking between tabs to read whether your travel policy allows certain bookings. Imagine if you could wrap everything up in the same platform – that would make life easier, wouldn’t it? 

You can, by using a SaaS ground travel solution. An all-in-one solution means you build your programme around your travel policy, not the other way around. It’s built around your needs, making it so much easier for travellers to independently manage their travel needs without any help or guidance from you.

We all like to feel empowered and giving your travellers the tools they need to book, manage and expense their rides is a solution that will work for everyone.

Finding the tech solution of your dreams

Although there’s little chance of you dreaming about tech solutions, (there are more chances travel policy issues crop up in your nightmares), tech can lend a hand. It lends more than a hand, it’s like a virtual team member, hustling 24/7 to ensure everyone is tracked on their journey, expensing is automated, and travel policies are easily accessible.

You need a ground travel solution that prioritises cost, employee safety and user experience. But how do you find the best ground travel solution for your organisation? Firstly, you’ll have to figure out what you need from your ideal solution when you know what to prioritise; you can begin researching ground travel solution providers.

Read next: Habits that make a successful travel manager in 2021.

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