Having a corporate travel planner on staff streamlines business travel planning. However, it helps to involve employees in the process too. After all, staff doubles as the boots on the ground.
It’s one thing to see hotel pictures and read descriptions online. It’s another to experience the accommodations.
When companies set budgets, parameters, and expectations, management and executives require buy-in from staff. Making them a part of the process by obtaining feedback shows that the company values their experience.
Let’s look at seven top tips on how to involve your employees in business travel planning.
Every corporate trip has a purpose. To ensure that staff is on the same page as management, outline the trip’s goals. Then, go over it with them.
Common reasons for business travel include:
- Client meetings
- Close a deal
In 2019, industry insiders found that corporate travel costs between $800 to $1,400 daily. The costs of transportation, lodging, and food add up quickly.
Therefore, make staff aware of expectations from management. It’s the best way to obtain a return on the investment.
Training and development should have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. When they travel to close a deal, they might not on the first try. However, it’s worth re-strategizing to close it on the next one.
Brief Them on Their Itineraries
Once the corporate travel planner has confirmed travel accommodations, brief staff on their itineraries. It takes a few minutes but it’s a good way to point out important details to travelers.
If the team member has questions, the planner can answer them on the spot. If the employee needs to look up directions, they can before departing for the airport.
To make staff feel a part of the process, request suggestions. Companies benefit from setting up exclusive partnerships with hotels, airlines, ground transportation providers, and restaurants.
However, it doesn’t hurt to add new options to the repertoire on occasion.
Keeping a list of travel recommendations makes things easier for staff. They don’t need to spend a lot of time searching for places to eat. A list is also a great way to keep them safe in places unfamiliar to employees.
Obtain Feedback When They Return
Management changes have ripple effects through organizations. Often, new managers will seek to exact change. They must prove that the organization made the right choice in hiring them.
Therefore, the service at a hotel, transportation provider, and restaurant can change with management turnover too.
If the service from long-time hospitality partners has changed, your team members can confirm it. Then, the company has the opportunity to make changes and optimize its budget.
Obtaining feedback from staff members improves the planning process. It also ensures that they stay in accommodations that provide comfort and safety.
Discuss The Company Travel Policy With Them
Companies that send employees on corporate trips must develop a travel policy. Elements to incorporate include:
- Travel expense reimbursement procedures
- Emergency contacts
- Authorization process
- Dress code
Business travel does not equal a vacation. Staff benefit from a reminder every so often.
If your business needs tips on adapting the company mileage policy to the current gas prices, Hotel Engine provides a helpful guide.
Allow Them To Find Deals
The hospitality industry is willing to provide corporations with favorable rates and discounts since they provide valuable business. Small companies can capture those rates, too, but they’ll complete more leg work to find them.
Companies that do not employ a corporate travel planner can encourage employees to find deals. Then, management verifies them.
All small company members and entrepreneurs must pull in the same direction. Sometimes involving employees in travel planning is the most cost-effective strategy.
Automate The Process
Another way to involve team members in the corporate travel process is to automate it. A centralized system allows them to pick from a list of options. Then, the planner receives the information and confirms it.
Automating the process is another cost-efficient strategy for companies across the board.
Then, management can keep tabs on traveling team members by logging into the platform.
Companies task corporate travel planners with several responsibilities. They create policies, establish budgets, and ensure that staff arrives at their destinations on time. Among the planning, involve travelers in the process. It makes them feel valued and they can provide meaningful feedback