When it comes to cultural values, there’s no such thing as right or wrong. Each company is different. The same is true for your travel policy – as much as each company is different, so each company’s travel policy needs to be different.
So, by aligning your travel policy with these cultural values, it ensures the policy is mapped to the needs and approach of your whole organisation.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of having a travel policy that doesn’t fit the cultural values of the organisation. It might be that the travel policy is at odds with your company culture or that the culture has evolved and the policy hasn’t kept up with changes. But understanding your cultural values is one of the key ways to build greater engagement and synergy between your travellers and your travel policy.
How can cultural values and your travel policy influence each other?
Failure to acknowledge the importance of your cultural values for your travel policy will impact on the choices that business travellers make – everything from the accommodation they choose, the ground transport they take and their willingness (or otherwise) to even adhere to the travel policy.
And, where your travel policy aligns with your cultural values, it is much more likely to engage and connect with your travellers. For travel managers that find getting travellers to comply with the travel policy (a big challenge for nearly 50% of surveyed travel managers), understanding the connection between cultural values and your travel policy can start to build connections.
Here are four types of cultural values, including the typical traits of these cultures and what this can tell you about mapping your travel policy to these cultural values.
#1 Result-Driven Culture
These are organisations that prioritise results and high-performance over everything else – they often want to change the world. This is the type of organisation where employees will challenge the status quo, if they think things can be improved, and will work hard to get the job done.
The travel policy needs to be results driven too – so having plenty of data to back-up travel decision making process is essential.
#2 Horizontal culture
In these organisation, job titles aren’t important. Instead, everyone collaborated together to achieve shared goals. This is the type of place where the CEO makes their own coffee and people get involved in a wide range of project.
Travel policies for these organisations needs to reflect this flat organisational structure. It has to be one rule for everyone, with no exceptions.
#3 Progressive culture
These are organisations that are looking to challenge the traditional working norms. They value diversity in the workplace and offer flexible working options. Trust is a key part of working in a progressive culture.
Travel policies at progressive culture organisations is often very flexible, with a lot of autonomy given to business travellers. In progressive cultures, punishing travellers for going slightly over budget isn’t going to go down well.
#4 Established corporate culture
In these types of organisations, there are clear policies and processes for most parts of the business – and travel is no exception. Major decisions about the company’s direction are almost always made by the senior leadership team. People working here will have very clearly defined roles, which don’t tend to evolve over time.
Travel policies for established corporate cultures will be direct. There won’t be any doubt about what the correct process for booking and managing travel and travellers will expect clear guidelines. Often travel policies in established corporate cultures will include sections about what happens if you don’t keep within policy.
Mapping your travel policy to your cultural values is about connecting your travel policy with your travellers’ needs and the way these needs evolve in the future. By understanding your cultural values, you can map your travel policy so that it matches the way you do business.
Communicate and share your travel policy with colleagues by using the visual travel policy tool built by Booking.com for Business. It was created to help travel organisers communicate their travel policy effectively with colleagues, including all essential travel advice and guidance.