When is the best time to review your travel policy?
A travel policy is a set of guidelines designed to control and measure business travel costs whilst ensuring traveller well-being, and employee duty of care. If your travel policy isn’t fit for purpose it could be negatively impacting your travel program and reducing net profitability in the process.
But how often should you review yours? Annually? Bi-annually? We take a look at how you will know when the time is right for your business…
#1 Fit for purpose
You may be wondering if your travel policy needs updating? Do you have recurrent complaints from travellers that the expense limits set don’t reflect the current costs of fuel, hotels and rail journeys? Setting a realistic set of expense limits that take into consideration geographically higher costs in major cities will drive greater compliance and ensure employees will ensure more travel is booked centrally through your chosen Travel Management Company (TMC), driving costs savings and ensuring that all travelling employees are captured within traveller tracking systems for any emergency support.
#2 Year in year out
It is good practice to incorporate a review of your current travel policy into your annual strategic planning at year end… A lot can happen/change within a year not only for your company, but the market as a whole. Hotel spend limits that were set a more than a year ago may not take into account market increases or the changes in exchange rates, especially in today’s turbulent times. These changes can mean your expense policy becomes out of touch, with more out of policy expense and, which could directly impact your travellers and cause more work for your finance teams when reconciling expense payments.
#3 You don’t look the same
Your business travel may have evolved, meaning your main business focus and company objectives may have have resulted in an increase in travel. Ensuring your policy is fit for purpose is paramount, liaising with your travel management company (TMC), or getting a TMC to help if you are organising travel yourself and finding organising travel is becoming too time consuming will be critical to maintaining costs and net profits. A good travel partner will work with you to help manage this growth and offer recommendations and support to ensure you keep focused on costs when expanding your business.
#4 Who? Where? Why?
Incorporating traveller well-being into your travel programme will ensure you show appreciation for the miles being travelled by your team. Using points accumulated on corporate airline or hotel reward programmes to provide an unexpected upgrade will go a long way to motivating your frequent travellers who are often fundamental in driving the growth in your business, and will support staff retention initiatives. Building this level of flexibility into your travel policy allows you to reward high performers and use this as a statement to attract the best talent to your business.
With a new year just around the corner it is a perfect time to review your travel policy and see if it meets the needs of your business. Our eBook below provides some helpful hints and tips on building a successful travel policy.
We are also offering a no obligation travel policy review, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss and recommend any areas for improvement to ensure your policy is ready to help your business in 2017.