Driving Corporate Travel Compliance
The success of your policy hinges on its adoption, and if it’s not being followed, the whole thing can come crashing down.
But don't worry, there are ways to help drive adoption and make travel policy compliance a simple, seamless experience for everyone involved. Let's take a look at some effective strategies to ensure your travel expense policy is being followed.
What is travel compliance?
Before we dive into strategies for driving travel compliance, it's important to first have a clear understanding of what true compliance looks like. (And no – it does not mean obedience.)
Don’t think of your policy as a set of demands that employees must follow without question. Rather, real compliance occurs when employees genuinely agree with your policy because:
- It makes sense.
- It seems fair.
Simple enough, right?
Successful compliance involves a shared understanding and commitment that goes beyond following rules and regulations. When your policy aligns with their knowledge and values, employees are more likely to embrace and adhere to it. So, if you truly want to drive adoption, it's crucial to take a step back and evaluate whether your policies are clear, reasonable, and easy to understand.
With this foundation in mind, you can start taking steps to ensure that your employees not only comply with your travel policy but also actively support it.
What makes business travelers compliant?
When it comes to ensuring compliance among business travelers, keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Every organization has its own unique culture and management style that is constantly evolving and directly influences the adoption of your travel policy. However, there are some common factors that contribute to non-compliance across most businesses:
- Poor communication – Employees can’t follow a policy if they don’t know it exists or they don’t understand it. Clear and effective communication is crucial to ensure everyone is aware of the policy and its expectations.
- Information overload – Sometimes, policies can become overwhelming, leading employees to inadvertently break them. If your policy is too extensive or complex, travelers may struggle to remember and comply with all the requirements.
- Outdated policies – A policy that no longer aligns with the current needs of your organization can hinder your compliance program. Eliminate outdated rules that no longer make sense or are no longer applicable.
Understanding the problem is only half the battle. The next step is to find ways to address these issues and make sure your employees fully understand and comply with your company’s travel policy.
Strategically build policies into the booking tool
Strategic automation can make all the difference when it comes to policy compliance.
A travel policy compliance tool with instant dynamic algorithms can apply policy rules and restrictions, nudging travelers in the right direction.
But it's not just about automating policy compliance – it's also about analyzing traveler behavior and identifying areas where additional training or support may be needed. Utilize the data generated by your OBT’s reporting technology to gain insights into traveler behavior, travel spending patterns, and compliance issues. Use that data to identify areas of improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance your travel programs. This way, you can set up notifications and alerts to ensure that travelers don't miss out on unused tickets, vouchers, or other credits.
At the end of the day, building policy into your OBT should be intentional and strategic to meet your organization's specific needs. With the right travel management system, you can make sure that compliance is a breeze and that your travelers always stay within policy.
What is a corporate travel management system?
A holistic, agile travel tech stack consists of interdependent software solutions that work together seamlessly to provide end-to-end travel management. Such a cohesive system gives you the ability to streamline approvals, stay connected to employees wherever they are, and improve business travel compliance.
By integrating different software solutions such as online booking tools, expense management systems, and travel risk management platforms, companies can create a comprehensive travel program that enhances the traveler experience, reduces costs, and improves compliance. With a travel tech stack in place, companies can also gain greater visibility into employee travel spend, track traveler behavior, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their travel program.
Ensure your policies are up-to-date
If it’s been a while since you last revisited your travel and expense policy, that might be your first clue into why travelers aren’t complying. An outdated policy can be misleading, inaccurate, and highly difficult not to violate. Laws and regulations change, UI on travel tech gets a makeover, company culture and values evolve – there’s a lot that can change over time.
So to avoid mass confusion (and mass noncompliance), FCM recommends that businesses review their travel policy at least once a year to ensure it remains relevant and effective. Here’s a few ways you can identify areas for improvement in your T&E:
- Seek employee feedback – It's important to seek feedback from employees on your business travel policy to understand their pain points and areas where the policy could be improved. For example, are you considering employee needs and building duty of care into your policy? Feedback can be collected through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one meetings.
- Stay up to date with industry changes – The corporate travel industry is constantly evolving, and it's essential to stay up to date with changes that could impact the policy. This includes changes in regulations, travel trends, and emerging technologies.
- Involve stakeholders in the update process – It's essential to involve all stakeholders (including finance, HR, and travel managers) in the update process to ensure the policy aligns with the company's goals and objectives. Work with your Business Travel Agency to receive guidance on best practices and industry changes.
By adopting these strategies and leveraging the right tools, you can create a culture of compliance and accountability within your organization. Together, these efforts will contribute to a successful and compliant travel program that will not only align your travel program with your company's goals, but also enhance the overall travel experience for your employees.
And remember, you don't have to navigate this journey alone. From dynamic booking tools to streamlined expense management systems, our comprehensive solutions will help you enhance compliance, optimize costs, and boost traveler satisfaction.
Don't miss out on unlocking the full potential of your corporate travel program. FCM has tech that keeps you moving.