Expert Insights

9 ways to simplify your company travel policy

2 February 2017

Well adopted travel policies can help ensure valuable, affordable business travel, so read our tips for easy-to-follow policies.

1. Tell your people why they need a travel policy

Travellers need to know why there is a company travel and meetings policy in place and what it covers. Introduce the policy to each new employee. Tell them why the policy is there – it might be to look after their wellbeing, track environmental impact or save the company money. Once employees understand the reasons it exists, they’ll be more likely to adhere to your policy.

2. Make it clear whether it’s just for guidance

Some companies choose to make their travel policy mandatory; others choose to be more flexible. Either way, travellers need to understand how much is variable. This will guide them on what they can claim back in travel expenses.

3. Make sure it’s easy to use

Business travel can be a very jargon-heavy industry. Never assume that your employees will know what you’re talking about. Use plain English in place of jargon and make sure all travellers can understand it.

4. Know your travellers’ needs

A policy that is heavily focused on air travel might need reviewing if the majority of your travellers travel by train or hire car. Make sure the areas they need most are covered and consider topics such as public transport, long-stay needs, overseas travel and risk management.

5. Link to supporting info

This is a great way to reduce the size of your policy. If you don’t want to include all of the nitty-gritty details up front, create links to further information that is relevant to your travellers (and check the links regularly to ensure they’re still live).

6. Tell people how to book

Do your travellers know if they should be making their bookings via your company-approved travel management company, such as Capita Travel and Events? However they book, the policy should be supported and applied by the business’s travel management company technology and reservations teams. Also, let your travellers know if they need pre-approval, and how to obtain it.

7. Prioritise what’s important

Your policy will contain plenty of information that your people will need, but you can decide whether to include all of it in the document, or just a summary introduction, covering key points such as choosing the cheapest preferred supplier available. So, if it is important to encourage use of car hire over personal vehicles, or public transport over taxis, include that. Supporting info, such as a full list of preferred hotels and your maximum negotiated room rates, can then be added as links (see point 5) – this is easier within an online booking tool.

8. Include meetings and events

They are the reason most of us travel on business in the first place, so it’s important to cover them in your travel policy. As with hotels, you can simplify this section by promoting the use of company meeting rooms and virtual conferencing. Add a full list of preferred venues and negotiated rates into your supporting info.

9. Communicate effectively

To support the policy, work with your travel management company to send the right message to the right people at the right time. Use the technology and communications tools available from your company and agency. You can send reminders or extra information to those most in need (if, say, you have data telling you who is booking outside of your policy). Make sure you let people know who to ask if they have any questions about the policy. Contact details change, so make sure they are kept up to date.

Interested? Let’s have a chat about your company’s travel, meetings and events objectives - from the stuff that keeps you awake at night, to the everyday experiences of your employees! Call us on 0330 390 0340, or submit your details below.