Studies all over the world, time and again, suggests only few companies in the world comply to travel policy. The crux of the problem is that they fail to realize that travel compliance policy is the way to a safe travel and reduced travel business spend.

Do Corporate Travel Policies matter?
Business travel policies are imperative because they let businesses wrest travel spend on work trips, exercise control over the traveller’s safety and experience. Some of the things that a travel policy will encompass: what vendors travelling employees are entitled to use, how the booking should be done, what costs will be covered under the ambit of business travel, how reimbursement operates and so on. Some companies keep a close eye on these polices, while others let loose. In what is a partially managed travel program, companies don’t go the full mile in pushing employees use the company’s travel management policies. There are companies that have internal travel manager whose main function is to create and push travel policies and reforms, while others show little, if no gusto in recruiting a dedicated TMC, an internal travel manager, or a team that can effectively manage business travel.

Why adhering to travel policies is important?
This is a question that begs for an answer – Businesses come under pressure when employees turn a blind eye to travel policies such as making a                                week-in-advance booking, tagging a hotel to a flight booking, sticking to per diems, utilizing the authorized online booking tool, or booking through specified channels. If these are not followed to the letter, especially in cases of negotiated rates routed through designated channels, it can have significant bearing on the company’s savings.

The reasons often cited for employees overlooking policies is their quest for trying to find low-price options —which largely is due to their poor understanding of travel management programs including structure, mandatory policies and negotiated spend & savings.  Whether you are a startup founder, or a leader of a small business logging travel expenses, or a travel manager of an MNC, Tripeur shows the way wherein you can educate your employees about the significance of travel policies and compliance.

Approaches to Corporate Travel Policy Compliance:
While the below mentioned points are most applicable to travel managers, they can be used by anyone who is into travel expense reporting or developing travel policies:

Employee Satisfaction:
More often than not, company savings weigh over traveller satisfaction and that’s the crux of the problem. Needless to say, companies need to enhance policy compliance by optimizing the travel and booking experience. Feedbacks of travelling employees need to be collected to develop future travel policy and decisions related to vendor selection.  What travel managers can do here is to pull together data on employee’s preferences and experiences using free online survey tool that is also simple to use, or may be hold focus groups with travellers, instead of depending on ad hoc emails from employees. Employee preferences must be co-related with future decisions about imposing policy limitations or preferred channels. While travel managers can’t allow employee preferences to escalate costs, additional fund allocation will constitute more of a paradigm shift than cost escalation.

There are a few more ways by which companies can improve their travel policy compliance, the details of which will be dealt with in the part-two series of the blogpost.

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