Just when you thought all the hard work was done and dusted in procuring a travel management company, you realise you are faced with a workforce dubious about moving to your chosen supplier.
Like any sort of change management, successfully implementing a TMC requires a well-organised timeline, detailed communication and an awareness of the impact the change will have on the various factions of your organisation.
Having a communication plan in place ahead of the implementation stage will really support the process and provide some structure to what can sometimes feel like a slightly uncertain period of time. You can significantly support your implementation by building in some of these best practice communication ideas:
1. Engage all areas of the organisation
Ensuring all departments are up to speed with your implementation plan is of paramount importance – both for the smooth running of the process itself and the long-term buy-in you will receive in return.
Consider how each department will be affected by the change and how best to communicate developments to them – are they used to seeing news on your online internal comms or have you found delivering news in departmental meetings to be more effective?
Remember to include subsidiary companies, finance departments or non-HQ offices which are often overlooked. They will appreciate your added efforts and play an important part in the widespread adoption of your new supplier.
2. Produce a FAQ
It’s often the case that those heading up the implementation process are faced with the same questions over and over again simply due to the sheer size of an organisation, so with this in mind why not create an FAQ document that can be shared company wide? This will save key stakeholders the need to repeat themselves and will ensure that everyone in the organisation has access to relevant information as and when they need it throughout the implementation process.
3. Develop subject experts
There is a lot to take on board during the implementation process and so sharing the load when it comes to knowledge of new systems and processes is a smart move. Assemble your key stakeholders and designate ‘subject experts’, making that subject relevant to the person’s involvement with your new TMC; for example, asking a member of your finance team to become an expert in your new TMC’s invoice and billing system. Communicating who the experts are and the areas in which they specialise in your organisation will really help to streamline the process and steer any questions in the right direction.
4. Ask for help
Your TMC will have a wealth of experience when it comes to guiding organisations through the tricky implementation stage and so don’t be shy in asking for their help and advice. Every organisation is different and will require a different balance of communication, training and onboarding during their implementation.
So save yourself time and try not to reinvent the wheel, because your TMC have done it all before. Agree on a communications plan with them and ask for example documents and recommended timeframes that you can use and adapt to suit your business.