5 Ways to Build Travel Policy Buy-in
Posted by Mike Atherton on 28 February, 2017
Connecting boardroom decisions to traveller well-being might not always seem the easiest thing to do. However an effective and well communicated travel policy can support both the company and the traveller.
Getting the mechanics right, selecting the preferred partners and defining the organisations rules are your first steps. The next important leap is to make sure your employees have bought-in to why it works for them, as well as their company. Whether it’s making the policy accessible and meaningful to those that need to use it, or adding an incentive or two to nudge behaviours in the right direction, here are 5 suggestions to help your organisation engage positively with its travellers over your travel policy.
1. Highlight Traveller Benefits
Business travellers want to know they can call on the support of their colleagues and travel providers when they need it.
Traveller welfare is paramount to a successful business trip, so demonstrating to them that choosing the policy's suggested carriers, hotels and venues is in their best interest is key. Lone traveller support, venue access and location are just some of the ways that the policy can reduce the friction of business travel for the traveller.
2. Communicate from the Top
Senior managers need to be able to translate policy into action by communicating the reasons why the travel policy is important from the travellers perspective. This includes making sure everyone in the organisation is aware and comfortable with how the company will support them when they’re travelling on business. This is particularly important for new starters who may be unsure of what they need to do and to those infrequent travellers who may be rusty on how to comply with policy.
3. Make it Real
This is all about translating your travel policy into everyday situations. Clarity and brevity are key ways to get employees and travellers bought in to any process, including travel. If a policy is too long or complicated, employees are more likely to ignore it, or worse, actively work around policy guidelines. Clearly showing how following policy makes life easier will engage travel bookers and travellers alike to make policy part of everyday business life.
4. Keep it Visible
Hiding information away never helps convince anyone to change behaviour. Providing them with easy access to information will support and reinforce their positive actions. This information could sit anywhere, including on notice boards, in the canteen and even by the water cooler, on top of the regular company comms.
5. Reward and Reinforce
Whether its creating a league table of travel spend and policy compliance, or personal scorecards to recognise and reinforce the correct travel habits, giving travellers incentives in a way that's informative and engaging will help drive home that the travel policy is designed to make business travel easier.
Any incentives need to be in keeping with company culture and proportionate to the goals of the organisation. Combining this with senior leadership demonstrating how compliance benefits everyone, as well as rewarding those that do best, can inspire others to do the same.
In summary, communicating the travellers best interest when implementing a travel policy is key to its adoption. To read more about traveller welfare and how to ensure a safe travel experience, download our itinerary management essentials guide for travel duty of care.