If you’re reading this, business travel likely makes up a big part of your company’s budget, so it is crucial to ensure that employees comply with your corporate travel policy.
As you probably know well, however, it can sometimes be a challenge to get employees to embrace the policies - even though it ultimately benefits them. You’ve likely put in tons of time and effort to develop an excellent corporate travel policy that could help both the company and the employees, only for it to be ignored completely.
We feel your pain, which is why we’ve written this article to help you to market your policy to your dear employees effectively.
A word about millennial business travellers
Millennials currently make up to 80 per cent of the workforce in some companies. According to a report by McKinsey, millennials will play a significant role in shaping the future of organisations. Apart from that, three out of every four workers globally will be millennials.
A tech-savvy generation that turns to the Internet and social media to gather information, millennials believe in balancing work with leisure when they make business trips. Also, they constantly seek unique experiences and appreciate flexibility when it comes to making choices for corporate travel.
As Millennials have a different outlook as compared to previous generations when it comes to business travel, it is now more crucial than ever to understand them. Fortunately, there are some ways to market your corporate travel policy to employees and boost compliance.
Connect with your employees
Before we begin, it’s essential for you to connect with your employees to understand their needs better.
Firstly, conduct a survey that all your employees have to participate in. This would enable you to gain an insight into their wants, needs, and concerns when it comes to travelling for business. Such information can be particularly useful when you figure out how to best market your policy as well as communicate with them.
Also, make it a point to address any concerns or feedback that can help strengthen your policy so that your employees know that their opinions are valued. Try to get airtime in your company’s regular meetings, such as town halls or weekly standups, to field questions.
Social media is another way you can reach out to your employees and communicate with them. Using such platforms would also feel more casual, and as a result, make the employees feel more at ease and be in a more comfortable position to hear you out.
Convenience is key
To truly engage with your employees, you also have to meet them where they are online or offline. According to Global Corporate Travel Director for Harman International Industries, Sally Abella, it is crucial to think about who your audience is and introduce processes that they would respond to.
As business travellers are tech-savvy and always on-the-go, it helps to market your corporate travel policy as something they can access easily from anywhere, at any time. For example, having a policy in a format that is readily accessible from their smartphones. When you introduce travel tools that go hand in hand with your policy, your employees would have a more user-friendly experience. Having bookings and expense reporting at their fingertips would allow them to stay on top of their travel arrangements without taking up too much time or effort.
Keep it short and simple
Corporate travel policies tend to be rather lengthy (they don’t need to be, though). Unfortunately, this means employees would be less likely to read through everything. As a general rule, if the policies are too wordy or complicated to hold your attention, there’s a high chance it would be the same for your employees.
It helps to keep your policy content brief and get to the point when you are selling the policy to your employees. By emphasising key points and making things simple, your corporate travel policy would be more straightforward for employees to read and digest. As a result, there’s a higher chance they would take note of things to avoid and be more likely to comply with the policies in question.
Show them the benefits they could enjoy
Whether it’s having more options when it comes to booking hotels or flights, or the fact that your corporate travel policy would make their trip hassle-free, always highlight the benefits. After all, the best way to market your policy would be about how it could make their lives a little easier so they can focus on truly matters: making the trip a productive one.
If you are not able to gather everyone for a presentation, perhaps you can get their attention with a well-crafted email campaign or a digital poster with a QR code. Once your employees scan the QR code, they could then be taken through a brief virtual tour of your corporate travel policy’s benefits.
As much as budgets matter, the wellbeing of employees still matters at the end of the day. By showing your employees that the company is open to addressing any business travel concerns, it helps them feel like they are a top priority. Hence, they would be more open to hearing you out as well.
Share bad traveller lists with them
Compile a list of the top violators across specific categories every month for review and performance tracking. When you let employees know about problem areas and flag it out to them early, they would understand how such violators can negatively impact the company. As a result, they would be more wary about their actions and how they could cause problems.
Besides that, when your employees are aware that they are being monitored, they would be less likely to divert from the policy. Also, having tools that allow business travellers to acknowledge or give a reason for booking outside the policy would also keep them accountable.
As this is a form of negative reinforcement, though, you should refrain from relying on this as one of the key methods to market your corporate travel policy.
Don’t just tell - educate
Ultimately, it is essential to educate your employees on all the resources that are available to them and ensure that they know your corporate travel policy inside out. Once they understand all the tools that they can tap into to have a smoother journey, they would be more likely to embrace your corporate travel policy.