Travelling for business can be complex enough for employees. With so many hoops to jump through before they even set foot out the door, it’s important an organisation can make the process as easy as possible for its travellers, and that all begins with its travel policy.
So to avoid any pre-trip frustration and send your travellers on their way calm and confident, here’s how to keep your travel policy crystal clear.
# 1 Keep it to the point
Long-winded travel policies can lead to confusion, time delays and annoyed employees. By keeping your travel policy concise and user-friendly, the user can easily gather and view all the information they need and confidently weigh up their purchase options, either over the phone or by using an online booking tool.
Try to stick to the following:
- 2 pages max: Any more and it’s not enticing to read or too much information to absorb.
- Be precise: simple, concise instructions are easier understood and better adhered to.
- Avoid ambiguity: “You can stay in up to a 3-star hotel” offers little guidance – where possible, be specific.
#2 Keep it dynamic
One way to provide choice to your traveller, whilst maintaining the control you need is to use a dynamic travel policy. Rather than a static set of guidelines that a traveller must adhere to, a dynamic policy is based upon the best available rate in the open market. For example, instead of a strict rule of ‘You must not book 1st class fares’, a dynamic policy might include, ‘Fare must be within X% of the cheapest option’, meaning your traveller may have the option to travel first class whilst keeping within cost limits – everyone’s a winner.
If your travel management company offers a first class online booking tool, your traveller won’t need to sit, calculator in hand, working out which fares fall within X% of the cheapest, the online system will make everything clear in its presentation of search results, making your bookers’ job and choice simple.
Essentially, this type of policy will automatically allow employees to book whatever they like provided it falls within company policy. This adaptive style helps to create trust between employees and the organisation as it is easy to understand, simple to use and it provides the best choice.
#3 Keep it fitting
Always keep in mind what it is you want to achieve from your policy. Is it all about achieving savings and reducing travel spend, or is it primarily to ensure traveller welfare? Most likely it will be a bit of both, but keep focused on the end goal and how that can be communicated best to your users. Every organisation is different and it’s important for your travel policy to reflect your organisation’s culture. Take note of the industry that you’re in, the age of your employees and their existing booking behaviour and write the policy using language they will be familiar with. Your TMC should be able to help you find the right balance of all factors and help you avoid traveller friction.
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