The complete guide to travel policy compliance
With this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn what a travel policy is, how to track compliance and encourage its application.
A travel policy is a set of rules that specifically outline how business travel should be conducted. Usually, a company’s travel manager, HR manager, legal team, or office manager is responsible for compiling a company’s travel policy.
The key to creating a good policy is finding the optimal balance between the company’s interests and the employees’ needs.
A travel policy needs to cover the entirety of a business trip – from booking transportation to accommodation budgets and travel allowances.
One common mistake is thinking the travel policy only consists of costs. Although it’s an important element, you need to keep in mind that a business trip’s success depends on much more than that.
After creating a corporate travel policy, the next step is encouraging employees to comply with it. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best practices you should follow when ensuring compliance.
After creating the travel policy, now it’s time to make sure everybody within the company follows it. Below, you can find seven pieces of advice on how to make sure of travel policy compliance from your employees.
Your responsibilities should start from your duty of care. Being sure you have your employees wellbeing in mind and that you never put them in harm’s way is one of the main rules when ensuring travel policy compliance.
Duty of care covers a lot of elements. From not exposing people to dangers while travelling for business – like sending them to risky locations – to making sure you’re not pushing your people just to save costs – like insisting on a longer flight because it’s cheaper.
The easiest way to make sure that people follow your travel policy is to communicate it as clearly as possible, by using easy-to-understand language and avoiding legal jargon.
A few simple solutions we’d recommend are:
Sometimes, the easiest way to follow a set of rules is to compile a simple checklist.
Creating a step-by-step list and defining the limits for a budget not only encourages travel policy compliance, but will empower your employees to properly arrange their own business trips. This, in turn, can help foster a more independent working environment.
Defining the budget limit per night as well as the hotel category helps ensure travel policy compliance. Be clear that your employees can book a hotel with no less than 3* and outline a daily budget, for instance.
Also, some companies are more than happy to negotiate and create specific offers for your corporate business travel. Create a provider list of collaborating partners for an easier decision-making process.
Even with a travel policy in place, the reality is that you can’t control everything. By keeping your policy flexible, you don’t only remove the pressure from the employees, but you ensure you’re ready for any change of the itinerary.
You need to take into account if bookings are cancelled, the hotel overbooked or an employee might encounter health issues while abroad.
Open the discussion of travel policy to the whole company and listen to feedback from all stakeholders.
It’s recommended to continually update your policy and improve if needed. As time goes on and your company gains more experience with business travelling, solutions to problems may arise more easily.
Incentives are a great way to motivate employees to engage and comply with a travel policy. You can consider dividing the surplus travel budget as a yearly bonus or acknowledging the best travel practices and the best destinations reached via business travel.
You can measure travel policy compliance through numbers – like budget estimates – and by sending travelling employees a questionnaire at their return.
But travel policy compliance is an important element all around. The benefits of encouraging it are:
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