While today’s travel managers may have the power to establish a list of preferred airlines and hotels to create the perfect travel policy, compliance may be less than perfect due to forces outside their control. Online and mobile platforms are consistently disrupting compliance efforts by allowing employees to book alternative accommodations outside the preferred partnerships with a swift click of a button.
Rather than trying to fight the tide, travel managers may be wise to go with flow, adapting their travel policies to the needs of the modern business traveler. Here are three tips telling you how.
ACCOMMODATE THE NEXT-GEN TRAVELER
Pew Research Center reports Generation Xers and millennials combined account for nearly 70 percent of the total workforce, and they’re hot for new technologies and increased control over their own travel schedules.
They’re also prone to booking options that promise convenience and attractive rates, which may come from providers outside of your travel policy. Reviewing, understanding and then incorporating these new forms of accommodation into your policy can help you stay ahead of the curve and aligned with employee preferences.
Related: Seven tips for creating an expense policy that your employees will love (well, almost)
ENHANCE COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Employees are increasingly turning to instant messages and social media on their mobile devices for interaction and communication. Policy compliance may get a boost if you incorporate these tools into your workflow.
A prime example is a mobile solution that allows travellers to directly upload and submit expenses, which can help ensure they turn in their expense reports in a timely fashion. These mobile solutions may additionally offer features such as automated authorisation systems for trip approvals, prompting compliance before the trip even begins.
ENSURE YOUR POLICY MATCHES YOUR COMPANY
Travel policies should not be a static document you rarely revisit. They are instead a living, breathing entity that necessitates regular reviews and updates. Your travel policy needs to evolve right along with your company, aligning with company nuances and the unique needs of your business travellers.
Your goal is to create a travel policy that balances employee satisfaction with financial and liability issues while ensuring transparency and the incorporation of the latest travel trends.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.