As a result, employees have started traveling frequently for various work purposes – meetings, conferences, corporate events, exhibitions and trade fairs.
Although your organization might increase travel spending during the current year to drive revenue growth, the return on costs (ROC) can be maximized only by boosting your employees’ corporate travel experience.
But how do you do that? The answer is solving common business travel challenges like confusing booking processes, flight delays and time-consuming post-trip expense management.
Here are ten tips to boost your employees’ corporate travel experience.
1. Communicate travel and expense policies clearly
Your organization’s travel and expense policy directly impacts your employee's corporate travel experience. If the policy is too difficult to understand, employees can violate it unintentionally. As a result, they may incur additional expenses or choose unapproved suppliers, which results in the delay or rejection of expense claims. According to one study, only 62% of business travel bookings in the US are policy-compliant.
To avoid such policy violations, you need to ensure your employees understand and accept your travel and expense policy. You can start by drafting a travel and expense policy that is practical, straightforward and concise. It should be cost-efficient without compromising on the comfort of employees.
Next, you should focus on communicating your travel policy in a way your employees can understand. One way to communicate is by launching extensive policy training programs. Alternatively, you can make the policy visible to your employees at the time of booking with the help of automated travel management software.
2. Simplify travel booking and arrangements
Booking flights and hotels is a tedious and time-consuming task for your employees. The booking process has to begin well in advance if they want to reserve a suitable flight and hotel. Additionally, they have to go through a long list of booking options on the travel agent’s website before finalizing one that is comfortable and policy-compliant.
To save your employees’ time and efforts, you must simplify the booking process. You can begin by adopting a single platform for booking flights, hotels and extra rental services. 57% of travelers prefer a unified booking platform for planning, booking and tracking their trips. Additionally, your employees can benefit from customized booking options based on their preferences and your travel policy. This way, they don’t have to browse through tons of options to find the most suitable one.
3. Provide options and choices
Millennials constitute 50% of business travelers. Like leisure travel, they prefer having multiple options in business travel.
You can boost their travel experience by allowing them to choose from multiple airlines, hotels and car rentals. The new-generation travel management software solutions partner with numerous vendors, be it airlines or hotels, to offer employees the best options in the market. Hence, employees can enjoy the business trip by booking their choice of airlines and hotels while planning business trips.
4. Offer employees round-the-clock support
Employees these days visit many foreign locations for work purposes. Hence, they need specific information and ask many questions while planning work trips. Also, they need relevant assistance and care immediately to overcome emerging business travel challenges.
Travel management companies (TMC) these days help businesses boost corporate travel experience by providing employees with a variety of tools and services. You can opt for a TMC that offers 24/7 support to employees before, during, and after the trip.
5. Deploy a virtual travel consultant
Employees these days frequently travel for business purposes. Often, they travel to the same destination multiple times. Hence, they prefer to fly on their preferred airlines or stay at their preferred hotels.
A travel management software platform with a virtual travel consultant facilitates data-driven decision-making. It analyzes employee travel data collected from various sources to make personalized recommendations and provide actionable insights.
While making travel arrangements, employees can book the right airline, hotel chain or car rental in minutes based on the personalized recommendations made by the virtual travel consultant.
6. Simplify travel expenses submission
After business trips, employees put in both time and effort to submit expense reports. You can boost employees’ work travel experience by optimizing the expense report submission process.
A unified travel and expense management software solution can generate expense reports automatically. As employees scan expense receipts, the relevant fields in the expense reports are auto-filled, saving their time and effort. The expenses can be mapped with the trip ID so that all expenses are reimbursed collectively.
Moreover, the software makes authorizers approve travel expense claims on time by sending smart notifications.
7. Speed up travel expense reimbursements
Constant delays in travel expense reimbursements demotivate employees and impact their corporate travel experience. In addition to making it easier for employees to file expense reports, you must focus on accelerating travel expense processing and reimbursements.
You can easily speed up travel expense reimbursement through automation of the expense management process. You can invest in the right expense management software to automate expense approvals and payments.
8. Adopt popular trends like bleisure
You can easily keep employees motivated and relaxed by adopting top business travel trends like bleisure. Bleisure refers to allowing employees to visit popular tourist places or indulge in exciting activities during business trips. In addition to relieving stress, bleisure travel helps organizations boost traveler experience and satisfaction.
You can adopt the popular corporate travel trend simply by allowing travelers to extend work trips. The extended trip will allow travelers to visit popular sites or indulge in recreational activities after completing professional obligations.
9. Keep in place a duty of care plan
The COVID-19 pandemic made it essential for organizations to focus on improving corporate travelers' safety. In addition to mitigating health risks, organizations need to protect employees during business trips by providing relevant information and assistance.
You can make business travelers feel confident and happy by implementing a Duty of Care plan. The crisis plan helps employees mitigate travel risks by enforcing the best practices, tools and modes of transportation for safe travel. Moreover, it ensures that employees can get real-time assistance and up-to-date information to travel safely in the post-pandemic age.
You can also give employees a travel risk assessment form to identify whether the business trip will be safe for the employee.
10. Assess travel experience and traveler satisfaction
You must remember that corporate travel experience improvement is a continuous process. You can consistently boost individual employees' work travel experience based on their feedback and suggestions.
Hence, you must encourage employees to assess their business travel experience and share ideas to boost traveler satisfaction. You can leverage the information and suggestions to make essential changes to your organization’s corporate travel policies.
Improving your corporate travel experience is vital
You can leverage corporate travel as a tool to drive revenue growth only by boosting employees’ corporate travel experience. However, to do so, you need to keep your T&E policy simple, invest in the right travel management software and streamline expense reimbursements.