5 signs your travel program is ready for change
These days, it seems like every company is undergoing some sort of organisational change. Should your travel program be following suit?
Whether it’s a merger, shift in company culture, or adoption of new corporate travel tech – there’s a multitude of reasons why your enterprise might need to give your program a refresh. But even still, change can be scary, especially if you find yourself unsure of its necessity. No matter what kind of change your organisation needs, whether it be onboarding a new TMC or switching OBTs, here are the top 5 signs your enterprise is ready for change.
1. The user interface (UI) on your OBT isn’t user friendly
Nothing will put off your travellers more than a clunky user interface. So why are you using an OBT with UI that is hard to navigate, unintuitive, and creates a tricky, time-consuming user experience? If your travellers can’t figure out how to book efficiently in-channel, they may get frustrated and book on a consumer site. Now your travellers are taking trips that you can’t approve spend for, and you can’t safely track their location. HR may come knocking.
2. Your organisation is undergoing an acquisition or merger
Mergers and acquisitions can be an exciting yet tense time for your organisation – especially when it comes to your travel program. On one hand, you might be gaining access to additional funds or valuable assets, but on the other, you’re likely creating gaps and inconsistencies in existing knowledge and programs. As you start the process of absorbing workforces and adapting policies, you may realise that your travel program is fragmented due to multiple TMCs, tech platforms, and more – and without change, this is going to put you at risk for more than just future headaches. This will require consolidation under one TMC to streamline your global operations and governance.
3. Fragmented expense management has led to budget cuts
Your expense management is fragmented, and your visibility is decreased, leading to rogue costs and unapproved spending from your travellers. Ultimately, this results in Finance cutting your budget until you get things under control (and can you really blame them?). These budget cuts are a travel manager’s worst nightmare – they can result in layoffs, de-prioritisation of travel, lackluster supplier agreements (including traveller benefits) and more.
4. Your travel program’s reputation is scaring off top talent
Your business requires employees to travel regularly, but your current system is complicated, time-consuming and just plain frustrating for your travellers. And when your employees are unhappy, word travels fast. Poor employee reviews, ratings, and a bad rap as a travel program can scare top talent away, leaving you unable to attract the high performing candidates you’re looking for.
When your team’s morale is in the pits, it’s time to remodel. Engagement surveys give your employees the chance to tell you how your program is doing now, so you can fix issues as they arise. It isn’t always possible to predict when corporate travel change needs to happen, but you can keep an eye out for signs that the time of need is approaching. Staying proactive gives you more time to prepare for success and meet your company’s challenges head-on.
5. Your duty-of-care software is putting travellers at risk
Your duty-of-care software is lacking and isn’t efficient at keeping travellers up to date on safety alerts. Trust us when we say this isn’t just a travel management risk – it’s a liability waiting to happen. Imagine one day there’s a political crisis in one of your organisation’s frequently visited cities and your travellers are left stranded. This group of travellers then files a lawsuit asserting corporate negligence. Yikes! But all of this can be avoided with effective change management and by equipping your program with the right resources to meet your duty-of-care obligations, reduce travel risk, and keep travellers safe.
So, you’re ready for an overhaul? Don’t forget the importance of change management
You might be tempted to just dive headfirst into the remodel, but before you conduct any sort of change, you’re going to need some type of regulation in place. Change management is a key component of organisational change and is an essential step in establishing an effective transition process, especially when it comes to major changes in your travel program.
Ensure that your workforce is prepared to handle change by identifying your change management objectives and implementing those principles into every aspect of your operations. This will help you manage the risks associated with changing your travel program's structure, processes and culture, thus creating a positive experience for everyone involved: travellers, managers, and suppliers.