Turn Your Travel Policy into a Recruitment & Retention Tool

Organizations across the world are constantly working to attract the best talent and searching for ways to retain their top employees. While many companies evaluate culture, benefits and salary, many fail to consider changes at a travel policy-level to make themselves more competitive.

Direct Travel and the BTN Group recently hosted a webinar with industry experts to explore how enhancing travel policies can differentiate your organization among competitors. For some employees who frequently travel for work, a corporate travel policy can be a key factor in their decision to accept a job offer or to look for other opportunities.

According to a recent study, it’s reported that travelers managed by cost-focused travel policies experience nearly twice the rates of attrition, lower trip success rate and more travel burnout.  

It’s a growing trend, and it’s time to consider the implications that your travel policy has on recruitment and retention. So how do you turn your travel policy into a competitive differentiator?

Design a flexible travel policy that meets what travelers want

Every traveler has different preferences and unique needs. Take time to review the data that can help you understand your travelers, the methods they use to book and the suppliers they are using.

When you have detailed insight about your travelers, you can start to update and design a policy that provides the flexibility for each traveler to choose options that keep them content but also complements corporate objectives, budgets and savings goals.

Failing to consider traveler preferences might result in travelers booking out of policy. Learn more about how to mitigate out-of-policy bookings.

Rethink travel per diems

Surveys of high-performing employees reveal their most sought-after change to a travel policy include those who make business travel more comfortable and productive. Companies in recent years have shifted away from strict daily spending guidelines on individual meals and policies governing hotel choice in favor of a flat daily per diem.

A flat daily per diem, which varies by location, enables traveler choice – in lodging and dining – and gives the control back to the traveler, provided they remain below the overall spending cap. This approach is attractive because it lets travelers create a travel experience that works for them. 

Experiment beyond traditional reimbursements and upgrades

The study also highlights that nearly 57 percent of travelers said a cost-focused policy negatively impacted their travel experience and the business results. When reviewing your travel policy, put yourself in the shoes of the traveler and consider what makes travel easier.

One way to improve the ease of travel is through the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program. If your travelers are willing to coordinate the details, consider reimbursing them for the associated fees.

Another option is allowing travelers to avoid the most frequently disrupted flights, according to Business Travel News (BTN) in November 2018. BTN reported that a company altered booking displays to encourage travelers to book more reliable flights instead of those most frequently delayed.

While only a few of the many updates you could make, these creative approaches help your travel policy stand out from the crowd.

Promote a work-life balance

Often road warriors who travel hard need a break. That’s why organizations are now starting to look at paid time off (PTO) policies and allow high-performing employees the opportunity to balance frequent travel with time off.

Paid time off after a long trip or period of frequent travel can be rewarded with the option to work from home the day before or the day after a trip, and occasional traveler-selected two-week periods of work with no travel. A change in PTO policies can show your travelers that the organization truly cares about their well-being.

Check out a recent Direct Travel Navigator blog about Wellness on the Road: Staying Health When Traveling for Business.

Retaining high-performing employees in a tight labor market is a challenge for all organizations, and a travel policy that is aligned with the needs of those employees can have a real impact on their willingness to stay—and perhaps attract such employees from competitors.

Watch the Direct Travel and BTN Group Webinar on-demand, so you can learn more about what other organizations are doing to make their policies more attractive and supportive. You’ll also see how you can turn your travel policy into a differentiator when recruiting new talent and retaining your top employees.

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