Business travel can be an excellent opportunity for your team to gain exposure and expand your network. However, arranging trips is time-consuming and often costly.
A good travel policy can help you manage your corporate travel efficiently and effectively. It should include guidelines on approval processes, booking and reservations, on-site spending, and expenses.
1. Set a budget
Business travel costs are one of the largest expenses that businesses incur. They are a critical cost to keep in mind when making decisions that impact the company’s profitability and stability.
To manage your corporate travel, it’s crucial to establish a budget. This will ensure you have the necessary funds for your business to conduct essential meetings and events.
Developing a budget will also help you understand the actual cost of travel and make data-driven decisions that increase the bottom line.
For example, you may need to set a limit on how much money you will give your employees as a per diem allowance for meals and hotel stays.
In addition, you must also consider the location and the costs of living in that location. This will determine how much you can afford to spend on the trip itself and whether it will provide any value to your company or not.
Finally, you must be very careful when it comes to approving travel requests. This will ensure you don’t overspend or allow unnecessary expenditures on trips that aren’t beneficial to the business.
2. Create a policy
Corporate travel policies are a must-have tool for every business travel manager. They help manage risk, save money and ensure the company and its employees are protected.
A travel policy should outline your policies for booking flights, hotels, car rentals and entertainment. It should also cover how much you are willing to reimburse for different expenses.
Your policy should be clear and easy to follow, so it’s important that you make sure it is well-written. Use simple language and include photos, diagrams and charts as needed.
The right travel management company can help you create a policy that aligns with your firm’s goals and culture. It can also provide the expertise and technology to support your policy and save your business money.
A travel policy should clearly state the minimum and maximum amount that you will reimburse your employees for. It should also give them the option of choosing their own flight, hotel or rental car.
3. Create a system
One of the simplest ways to improve your travel program’s bottom line is to create a system that helps you make better informed decisions and improve employee engagement. The best systems are designed to proactively address problems before they become a serious problem. This can be achieved by ensuring all employees have access to the right information at the right time in the form of clear instructions, training and a system of checks and balances. This is especially true of your most senior employees and those that oversee or have to approve all travel related expense claims. Having this type of information at the ready is essential for maintaining morale and productivity.
Creating a system to manage all aspects of your corporate travel program is no easy task, but it pays to try to be as efficient as possible. Keeping the process organized, simple and painless should be your top priority as it can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line.
4. Train employees
Aside from ensuring that your travel policies are clear and easy to understand, you should also train employees on how to use them. This could be done through workshops, a travel help desk or by providing them with relevant documentation that covers the processes they need to know about.
When it comes to travel approval, for example, many companies require that employees send requests to several managers before being approved – a cumbersome and time-consuming process that can cause confusion and frustration among your employees.
If you have the opportunity, it may be beneficial to include corporate travel training in your company’s induction process, giving employees a thorough grounding in your policy guidelines from the get-go.
You should also regularly survey your employees to see how their travel needs are being met and if there’s anything you need to tweak to improve compliance. This can help you to create better guidelines and procedures, increase employee engagement, and boost policy compliance.