Last Updated on July 26, 2022 by Joshua Isibor
Small businesses and corporations benefit from assembling corporate travel policies alike. The handbooks keep staff who travel abreast of monetary expectations. It also streamlines reimbursement processes and sets spending budgets.
Business trips cost at least $1,000 per professional. The figures for 2022 aren’t out yet. However, in 2019, the average trip cost $1,293.
Corporations and enterprises, such as Amazon, IBM, and Deloitte, grew the business travel industry before 2020. Thus, hospitality providers will cater to all including small businesses. However, travel has its price.
One way to mitigate costs is to establish the company’s travel policy. Then, keep it up to date.
Elements of a corporate travel policy include:
● Reimbursement process
● Booking requirements
● Booking approval process
Companies can add other elements based on their needs and cultural preferences.
Keeping the policy updated is important. It’s how you’ll address changing economic circumstances, procedures, and expectations.
Let’s look at how to keep your organization’s corporate travel policy up to date.
Analyze Current Travel Costs
Your company handbook outlines the amount that the company will reimburse. It can also outline how much allowance each traveler will receive per trip.
It’s possible to break it down further. For example, the handbook can outline allowance and reimbursement amounts based on the length of the trip.
Then, examine how much each trip costs.
Hotel prices have increased after the events of 2020. Therefore, it makes sense that costs per trip will increase. If the increases go beyond the industry average, company executives can keep things as they are or make changes. After voting on changes, incorporate them into the handbook.
For example, the cost of gas became a major component that impacted expense reimbursement for companies. Hotel Engine presents one way to deal with the rising cost of gas.
Assess What’s Missing
In some ways, the company’s business travel handbook is a living document. Therefore, it won’t ever achieve perfection.
After establishing guidelines, give them time to breathe. Assess how they pan out in real life. Once a few months have passed, assess if anything is missing from the handbook.
If you find that elements are missing, find solutions and incorporate them into the handbook.
Incorporate Staff Feedback
Your staff acts as the organization’s boots on the ground. The handbook helps keep them on the same page as the company’s decision-makers. However, sometimes the vision and reality don’t mesh.
If the guidelines make things too difficult for traveling staff, listen to their feedback. Take the feedback to heart and discuss it with company executives. At the least, find a way to meet them halfway on their concerns.
Some companies cannot afford to reimburse higher amounts. However, they can make travel procedures easier for business travelers.
Explore Industry Trends
When things come up for your organization, chances are high that others may experience them too.
Another way to update your company’s travel guidelines is to explore industry trends. Corporate travel managers must develop relationships with vendors and providers. It also helps to develop relationships with other managers in their field.
If managers are not sure how to handle the trends, they can obtain solutions from their peers. Then, take the information back to your company’s executives and make a decision. If anything from the current handbook changes, update it.
Catch Up on State and Federal Laws
Employee benefits started in the 1950s with healthcare. Then, they evolved to include other perks such as parking and gym memberships. In addition, companies have agreed to reimburse employees for some travel expenses.
Then, the government entered the fold – expenses not reimbursed by employers could become tax write-offs. The tax write-offs got out of hand in some cases. After all, the government reimburses write-offs through the public’s tax dollars.
Therefore, the government stepped in again and made changes by shrinking the list of write-offs.
Thus, companies had to make some choices. Some decided to increase travel allowances and reimbursable amounts. Others could only afford to keep things as-is.
Nonetheless, corporate travel managers should keep themselves abreast of changes in state and federal regulations.
After distributing the company’s corporate travel policy, update it regularly. The corporate travel manager should keep an eye on industry trends, government regulations, and costs. In addition, check in with the employees who travel and obtain their feedback.
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