If you run a business, chances are good that you've had to send your employees on a trip – or take one yourself – for a corporate initiative. Whether the purpose of the trip is to scout a new location, visit a client or cement a partnership with a new B2B vendor, it's important that traveling workers have what they need to make their journeys successful.
According to current statistics, business travel is more common than many realize – in the U.S. alone, employees take 488 million business trips each year, including 12 trips a year for older travelers, and 14 trips a year for younger employees.
With so much corporate travel taking place, it's imperative that your company's traveling workers are supported with the right tools and strategies. What do your traveling employees need? Let's take a look:
1) A Clearly Understandable Travel Policy
There's nothing worse for a staff member than to be asked to take a trip for the organization without having a robust understanding of the business's travel policy. This policy must outline what is expected of employees, as well as what's expected of the company, especially when it comes to paying for travel costs and reimbursement.
According to a report from the Global Business Travel Association, 79 percent of traveling employees noted that their organization's travel policy has the largest impact on booking decisions. In fact, this policy has become even more critical than overall convenience and the price of the trip.
Because this policy is so crucial for workers and the decisions they make surrounding their travel, it's critical that the policy is well defined and easy to understand. This will ensure that employees are completely clear about corporate travel guidelines, reimbursement and other important factors that contribute to their plans.
"The study results show that travelers want to do the right thing," said Tobias Ragge, CEO of the hotel giant HRS. "Communicating the travel policy through the right channels at the right time and listening to your travelers' feedback is key."
2) Continual Communication
Communication isn't just important where the travel policy is concerned. It's also essential that traveling employees remain in the loop with their managers and other co-workers, even when operating outside of the office. This not only ensures that workers have the support they need during their trip, but can also contribute to higher productivity and job satisfaction.
According to research from Office Vibe, the vast majority of staff members – 65 percent – crave more feedback about their work. And because 69 percent of employees work harder when their efforts are recognized, and 78 percent noted that this recognition contributes to being more motivated on the job overall, it's important that managers don't let communication lapse during a business trip.
"Feedback and engagement becomes especially important for team members who are less visible or interact with colleagues infrequently because of remote working," Forbes contributor Kavi Guppta wrote.
3) An Easy-to-Use Expense Reporting Solution
One of the most complex factors of business travel surrounds the process of keeping track and reporting expenses. A clear travel policy providing guidelines here can help, but one of the best ways to support traveling employees in this pursuit is with a streamlined expense reporting solution.
It's important for decision-makers to seek out an expense management software that can:
- Integrate with accounting and ERP systems, making it easier to sync and utilize data across these important internal platforms.
- Support multiple different currencies, particularly if employees make frequent trips out of the country.
- Be accessed via mobile devices, enabling employees to more easily track and report expenses on the go.
An expense management solution of this caliber can considerably streamline the approval process and reimbursement for employees, while making it easy for executives to glean the visibility they need into their company's travel costs. To find out more, contact the experts at Nexonia today.