When an employee needs to travel for work, it is common that he has to be guided by some information and company guidelines on how to order his airline ticket, book his hotel, and use urban transport options to move between a meeting. and other. This set of recommendations is called corporate travel policy.
Most companies, especially larger ones and those with international business, update and share this document quite frequently.
With the growth of the business, so do the breaking of digital communication barriers and partnerships that make local companies quickly become global businesses. Given this, making your travel policy make sense and be followed is a challenge that cannot be overcome if not through the use of technology.
If you want to improve your corporate travel management process and understand how to use technology to ensure your travel policy is followed, keep reading this article!
- What is a corporate travel policy?
- Why does my company need a corporate travel policy?
- Corporate travel management and technology
- How to use technology to increase adherence to your travel policy
- Employee experience, usability, and the impact on corporate travel management results
What is a corporate travel policy?
Most companies have guidelines for internal conduct, good market positioning practices, and good internal relationships among their members. Likewise, businesses that rely on corporate travel often adopt a set of rules and recommendations for their employees to travel and move around economically, safely, and comfortably.
The corporate travel policy’s main role is to guide each employee who needs to leave the office to perform a function in another city, state, or country, so that he/she follows certain standards for booking, purchasing, and using travel and mobility services.
Typically, travel policies are broadly divided into three main stages of the corporate traveler’s journey :
- Before the trip: how to book your ticket, how to request your travel advance, how to analyze if the trip is really necessary.
- During the trip: what is the ideal behavior within a hotel, how to organize yourself to move from the hotel to the address of your appointment, and what are the support channels available to the employee during a trip?
- Upon return: how to account for travel expenses, how to prepare a travel report.
Why does my company need a corporate travel policy?
Imagine that you work in a company of 100 employees who, at some point, need to move or travel for work. If this is your case, imagine your reality to answer the following question: how to organize the consultation for the best options, the purchase of travel services (airfare, hotel, car rental, etc.) return, without standardizing the process?
If each of these 100 (or, if applicable, even more) professionals choose a different way to purchase services or account for the expenses of each of their corporate trips, how can the company guarantee the safety of these purchases and travel experiences? and corporate mobility?
For this, there is a reference — already used by large corporations around the world — that guides the entire team (and, in some cases, even suppliers and partners) on how to travel or move around the company, when necessary.
The corporate travel policy is an ally not only for the travel manager but also for the corporate traveler. It is there that the questions are so that urban trips and displacements can be done safely, without infringing the organization and quality rules that the company values maintain.
Corporate travel management and technology
Technology is anything that expands human capacity. Managing travel means managing processes and people. And, the more employees who need to travel your company has, the more it is necessary to use methodologies, techniques, and tools to manage this flow.
As we have already said, accompanying, guiding, and managing a small number of employees who are used to traveling around the company from time to time is a relatively simple task. In this scenario, you may use more inter-means of communication and less structured approaches to recommendation and guidance.
With sporadic corporate trips, and a very restricted group of employees who occasionally make them, an Excel spreadsheet and a notebook can be great allies to organize this routine.
But when we talk about medium and large businesses, with hundreds and thousands of employees, guiding, tracking, and managing a high number of trips manually is impossible.
In addition to the large number of employees traveling (and many others waiting to start their next corporate trip), there are also the bureaucratic procedures of conference, integration, and analysis after the return of corporate travelers.
How to use technology to increase adherence to your travel policy
Organizing all this without the help of technology is not an option. Ask yourself if you, a travel manager, would be able to do your job if you couldn’t count on solutions and applications that would multiply your managerial capacity. We are sure that, just thinking about doing everything you do, manually, certainly causes you great fear.
Corporate travel management platforms allow various types of configurations and parameterizations so that your company’s travel policy is accessible to all employees who need to move for work.
These tools allow you, as a manager, to enable purchase rules for all travel services. This means that it is possible to parameterize, in a systemic way, limits for expenses with airline tickets, hotel rates, car rentals, etc.
Without the use of technology, checking all this process manually would be unfeasible. In addition to the parameterization of your company’s travel rules, solutions like these bring the benefit of guiding the corporate traveler towards the best travel practices.
In addition to smart flight and hotel search, these tools can indicate whether the traveler is opting for services that are within or outside of the company’s travel policy. As the corporate travel policy is updated, the travel management team may update it.
Employee experience, usability, and the impact on corporate travel management results
With the advancement of mobile technology and the growth in the number of smartphones in India, applications that solve real pain and that are in our hands all the time are highlighted. More than the benefit of usability, mobile applications have great value in terms of quick communication and the location of the employee who is away from the company for work.
Among several benefits, taking travel management to the smartphone screen makes it possible to:
- More assertive communication, with online contact channels, is always available to the employee.
- A complete view of the travel journey, from the use of an urban mobility service to the plane ticket and even breakfast at the bakery next to the customer.
- Identification of the employee’s position on the map, anticipating alert about any events that could put your corporate traveler at risk.
Furthermore, by simplifying the journey before, during, and after the trip, corporate travel apps ensure that companies’ travel policy is followed while facilitating usability. With simpler, self-explanatory interfaces and fluid interactions, mobile apps win the hearts of corporate travelers, including the most demanding.
Finally, we already know that corporate travel management is responsible for ensuring compliance with the company’s travel policy. But without cutting-edge technology that is embraced with appreciation by your travelers, results can be compromised.
And you, what are your expectations for the next panorama of the dual management of corporate travel and technology? Leave your comment, here in the post, so that other travel and mobility management professionals can share their opinions!
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