On our Mantic Point blog, we address some of the important questions that travel management companies want answering. So, I was delighted to recently have the opportunity to contribute to the latest issue of Business Travel Magazine and discuss the importance of travel policy communication.
This isn’t the first time I’ve discussed business travel policy, but it's a subject that's vital to successful business travel management. I can’t stress enough the importance of ensuring you have a comprehensive policy in place and employees are fully engaged with it.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the growth of a number of factors that are influencing business travel in all corners of the world. To keep up with the pace and counter any threats, it’s arguably more important than ever to make sure business travel policies are up-to-date and employees are 100% compliant.
This isn’t just what's best for business though. It’s our responsibility to travellers and part of our duty of care.
The continued emergence of bleisure travel is an exciting opportunity for travel management companies, but many businesses have been hesitant to embrace this trend.78% of Millennials are now adding extra days to business trips for the purpose of relaxation and exploration, with just under half of them taking their family along for the fun. Yet, only 57% of companies have made allowances for bleisure in their travel policies.
There’s still a huge amount of confusion over what the rules will be for UK-travellers after Brexit talks are finalised. Keeping an eye on how this plays out will be vital in shaping your business travel policy in the future.
In the meantime, chaos has already descended across EU borders and airports, as security begins to tighten, leaving many travellers worried about being stranded in an unfamiliar area. It’s important you’re able to include measures in your travel policy that reassure travellers they won’t be left fending for themselves if they're unable to make their flight.
Increased Global Terror Threat
The increased terror threat in response to attacks in London, Paris, Brussels and other major business hubs, is now the number one worry for business travellers, with 45% of respondents to a Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) survey naming it as their greatest security concern. Yet nearly a third of businesses don't have a detailed emergency plan in place.
Implementing a comprehensive emergency plan is in place is vital to traveller safety and can help ease their fears, but communicating these procedures is often dependent on travellers complying with policy – another reason that 100% compliance is important. Unfortunately, research from the GTBA reveals a shocking disconnect between travel managers' estimated levels of compliance (90%) and actual levels of compliance (63%).
The Importance of Communicating your Business Travel Policy
Of course, having a policy in place is only half the battle, with up to 70% of employees unaware that the business travel policy at their workplace is mandatory. This shows why implementing better policy communication is vital across the entire business travel industry, especially in a period of upheaval and confusion – with more disruption expected in the coming years.
One of the most common-sense tips for improving communication and compliance is ensuring your policy document is clearly signposted so all employees can access it when it's convenient to them – online and offline.
For more tips on improving the communication of business travel policy in your company, check out the latest issue of Business Travel Magazine. You can find my article on page-15 and the July/August edition of Business Travel Magazine can be downloaded for free now.