How to successfully communicate travel policy

Visa and Deloitte Consulting partnered to find out how successful companies communicated their travel policies. They found that these companies frequently communicated not only their travel policies to staff, but also the impact that their travel compliance had on the company as a whole. Having an increased level of communication saw the companies in question having more control over policy and compliance because employees understood the travel restrictions and the reasons for them. Cost savings grew due to increased use of preferred suppliers, and travellers themselves reported feeling more in control of planning and booking their travel correctly.

Research indicates that the most effective communication plans include the following:

Knowing your employees: The age of employees has a great impact on how they prefer to receive their information. Millennials prefer face-to-face meetings to discuss policies, whereas Generation X and Baby Boomers prefer the speedier choice of emails or intranets. It is imperative to spend time learning which method employees are most likely to respond and buy into.

Communication tools: Because of the diversity within a workforce, it is essential to cover all bases by using numerous forms of communication. Communicate timeously, and communicate frequently. These include, but are not limited to, printed materials, webinars, in-person, intranets, email, video, newsletters, social media, and texts.

Cover all aspect of travel: inform employees of all processes, including booking, expenses, preferred suppliers, traveller safety and even provide additional information that they might need about the market they are entering. This communication should also include how to do a standard transaction, how to go about booking with exceptions, and it should outline penalties for noncompliance.

Incentivise: Many companies are implementing incentive programmes for travellers to be rewarded for booking within policy. This helps maintain a positive workforce, while simultaneously driving compliance.

Get employee feedback: This can be done by means of a post-trip survey, or even quarterly meetings to brainstorm best practice. Including employees in processes that involve them helps to secure buy-in and, as a result, ups compliance.

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