Good Travel Policies Have 5 Things in CommonBy Emily Parker-Woodland
A good travel policy is a good thing. But why not make yours great? Leaders shoot for the moon, right? And, frankly, your travel-weary employees would love to know that you’re polishing your policy in order to improve their experience. A great travel policy greatly benefits your admin and finance teams, too, and it can save your company a bundle in wasted time and money. Everyone’s a winner.
These 5 things will help you develop a great travel policy for your company. (Hint: It’s not just the policies you set, but how you implement them.
1. Easy to Use Tools
We're all about tools these days – especially digital tools that make our lives easier by giving us exactly what we want, faster. There’s an app for everything. And a smart device, too. A great travel policy takes advantage of this fact, using clever, customized digital technology to help employees plan their travel lightning-fast and within guidelines.
2. Traveler-friendly policies
And speaking of guidelines, the more restrictive your travel policy, the harder it will be for people to follow it. Travel can be chaotic, and most of the time it’s not fun. A good policy acknowledges that, by letting employees enjoy the “rewards” -- loyalty points, extra time for bleisure, etc. Even more on point, a good policy relies on tools such as dynamic pricing to enable reasonable, flexible scheduling and spending within parameters that fit the real world. Fewer prior approval requirements save time and hassle.
You get peace of mind your employees are booking safe, comfortable accommodations and cost control so expenses for flights, hotels, and food don’t fly over the moon. How great is that?
3. Management-friendly processes
Small and medium-size businesses in particular have to be able to turn on the proverbial dime. But you can’t make smart decisions without complete, accurate information. And, speaking of dimes, your travel spend is likely taking a big bite out of your budget. Every wasted dime directly reduces your ability to fund the next growth initiative.
A good travel policy establishes clear, easy-to-follow expense capture and reporting processes. Digitally integrating the expense side with travel scheduling pulls together all the data your people need, in real time, for reports and analysis. That’s just great.
4. Developed for mobile use
What good is a system that’s tethered to desktops or – dare we even mention it? – paper? Travel is, by definition, an on-the-go kind of thing, so it stands to reason that at least the key points of your travel policy should be instantly accessible no matter where your people are.
Lola.com is a fully integrated digital tool with embedded guidelines (developed by you - not some generic rules). The essentials are literally right at everyone’s fingertips, whether they’re booking flights or hotels, reporting those expenses for reimbursement, or studying all that data to track individual travel or plot aggregated usage and spending trends.
5. Helpful travel management services
The trend across the board in business these days is balancing the desire for self-service without sacrificing personal assistance. No offense, employers, but all too often your corporate travel policy is, well, not entirely helpful. A great policy tells employees how to do things right and facilitates that. An automated platform like Lola is a giant leap in the right direction. And posting the devilish details of your travel policy where people can access them is great.
But sometimes things go wrong. Whether it’s an emergency or just another travel headache such as a canceled flight, backing up your policy with 24/7 support from a knowledgeable human can quickly restore calm and confidence in your travelers.
With clear, sensible policies and a comprehensive tool like Lola.com, it’s easy to take your travel policy from good to great.
If you're looking for more information on how to streamline your company's T&E process, check out our free ebook!