Engaging Employees In Business Travel
By Business Desk
Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
Every day, thousands of business travellers hop in and out of cabs, take off on planes and check into hotels. This means a lot of expenses, and you need to do everything you can to ensure that a trip you’re planning ultimately makes more for the business than it costs. Part of this is engaging your travelling employees in the planning process. Here are a few helpful tips for doing this…
Define and Discuss the Goals
It’s a huge mistake to send any employee out into the field without giving them clearly defined goals – both in terms of business and spending. Let’s say you’re sending them to a sales seminar to reel in some new clients. Should they treat the best prospects they rub shoulders with to dinner and drinks at a high-end restaurant? Are you going to want the employee to schedule meetings with new leads? Take care of their usual desk work from a hotel room? Receive and make important calls while they’re on the road? Whatever you’re sending them off to achieve, help them make decisions that will ensure they stay productive, and make sure they know how their spending is going to impact the company’s bottom line.
Start Planning Now!
Last-minute business trips happen from time to time, and all too often, the resulting costs can punch a significant dent in the company’s cash flow. There isn’t much you can do to cap expenses when there’s a matter of hours until the flight takes off. However, planning early whenever you can will allow you to leverage good pricing and a more flexible range of options. When you’re looking into the local restaurants, serviced apartments, meeting places, transport and so on, bring the worker in and make them part of the process. Give them some kind of incentive to do their own research, and pin down more cost-effective options and sacrifices that can be made. Even if you have a dedicated travel agency who usually shows you the best deals, it can pay off massively to go over their head and do a little detective work of your own. The sooner you start drawing up plans, the easier they’ll be to follow through.
Check your Travel Policy
Ideally, your company’s travel policy should be reviewed and updated fairly regularly by your accounts payable team. Once updated, it should also be shared immediately with your departmental heads and any travellers you’re sending off. You can make the policy more accessible through a cloud platform, and invite anyone involved to revisit it whenever they want. You should also encourage them to ask questions they may have about the policy and upcoming trips. Make sure that every part of the policy is intended to make business travel both cost-effective and comfortable, and set clear guidelines as to the kinds of expenses that can be reimbursed, and what your employees will need to file a report. It’s certainly not everything, but a good travel policy can make the planning and execution of trips so much smoother.
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