Chasing rogue travelers who book outside their companies’ policy. Telling them what they do is not ok: “You are incompliant”. This is likely to be the least favorite task of any Travel Manager.
More business travelers are booking on their own, increasingly using their mobile devices to plan and book their trips – outside of their company’s travel tools. Why? These travelers may want to stay in usual, familiar places, collect reward points, or simply they want to do things their own way.
At the same time, companies want to control costs. Plus, they need to comply with their duty of care responsibilities.
And, right in the middle, there’s the role of Travel Managers. It’s their responsibility to ensure travelers are happy, productive and safe, but also to ensure costs are managed.
With more tools available than even before, it is essential for Travel Managers to focus on promoting travel policy. Following a survey with a total of 174 corporate travel managers worldwide, ACTE Research has shared the three key strategies Travel Managers are using to promote policy compliance and manage the modern business traveler
Promoting travel policy compliance
Travel Managers are responding to the evolving needs of their travelers. They are adjusting policies to fit travelers’ changing behaviors and preferences -embracing mobile apps, for example. And yet, Travel Managers must persuade and convince travelers to do the right thing.
To ensure travelers stay within policy, Travel Managers must consider a range of strategies that go beyond carrot and stick.
Education – Informing and educating is easily the number one behavior-changing strategy. This means not only making sure travelers are aware of travel policy, but that they understand the rules and why they need to comply. Internal communications, training, seminars and one to one briefings are essential tools and resources for the success of this strategy.
Persuasion – According to the ACTE survey, 80% of Travel Managers use more sophisticated tactics to persuade travelers and drive compliance. These tactics do not need to be very elaborated, but they’re effective as they speak to the traveler’s conscience. Travelers could respond to guilt if they see how much gold star employees are saving by making in-policy bookings vs. those who aren’t.
Rules and rewards – Companies can implement incentive programs that reward employees for following the company travel policy. For example, an employee who travels economy instead of business could earn points and later on turn those points into rewards. On the contrary, tougher companies refuse to reimburse employees who book out of policy.