How To Make Your Travel Policy Work

In our previous blog post, we talked about how to create a travel expense policy for your company. Now, you’ve got that bright-and-shiny new policy all ready to go!

If you think your job is done, think again.

There’s no use having a policy that gathers dust in a filing cabinet alongside all the other rules and procedures. The tough part is making it work! Considering only half of employees actually understand a company’s policies, it’s not an easy task.

So what should you do to ensure your team understands your policy – and actually follow it?

Here’s what you can do to increase compliance and save time and money.

1. Use simple language

Your policy should be easy for each and every team member to understand, regardless of their

age or experience. When crafting a policy, make sure to use common words, avoid professional lingo and give examples. Imagine you’re writing for a 12-year-old child.

2. Make it accessible.

Every business traveller must be introduced to the policy and have access to it at any time. Make sure your employees are aware of the policy, have read it and know how to act on it. The document must be easy for them to reference so that your travellers can refresh their memory or clear any doubts they might have.

3. Be flexible.

Have room in your policy for something unexpected. Situations are bound to come up that aren’t clearly defined in your policy and you’ll want to make it easy for your business travellers to know what to do.

For example, you can add an expense category named “Other” (with memo and receipt requirements), or make an allowance for a higher-value flight if there’s an emergency and the less expensive class is overbooked (you can also ask for an explanation and some sort of proof from the airline). Make sure to review your policy at least once a year as both your business and the travel industry are constantly evolving and you’ll need your policy to remain relevant.

4. Show you care.

It’s important for your employees to see that you really care about their opinion and safety. Ask for their feedback about the policy. This small step will give you insight into how well your employees understand the policy, which parts need to be explained better and what kind of updates are required. When employees are brought into the policy creation process, their level of satisfaction and – as a result – their compliance significantly increases.

Policy compliance

5. Automate.

With expense reporting software in place, the whole policy compliance process becomes so much easier! Now your employees don’t need to constantly refer to the policy document; the system will point out any violations or even prevent them from submitting a report that isn’t compliant, while also maintaining the flexibility that you added in Step 2. Not only will the system help to increase policy compliance, but also save time for business travellers, administrators and accountants.

These five tips will help your employees easily understand and comply with the policy. Now your policy will work for you, keeping your business productive, organized and compliant.