How to improve corporate travel policy compliance
You've researched, gathered the necessary resources, and communicated your travel and expense (T&E) policy to your employees. But now, you're not so sure they're actually following it.
Establishing a policy is just the first step. The success of your T&E policy relies on adoption. If the policy isn't followed, the whole thing could come crashing down.
But don't worry; there are ways to help make travel policy compliance an easy and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Let's take a look at some effective strategies to ensure your travel expense policy is being followed.
Build policy into your booking tool
Imagine you are a busy traveler. You need to book a last-minute business trip. But, you cannot recall all the regulations of your company's Travel & Expense policy.
You’re debating skipping the hassle and just booking to your own preferences – but wait! Our corporate travel platform, Melon has got your back…and the backs of your expense management team.
By naturally embedding policy rules and restrictions into travel management software you can:
- Promote policy compliance – Melon can be set up to apply policy rules and restrictions during self-service bookings automatically. The "recommended spend" feature nudges even the most easily confused employees in the right direction. And if they still try to stray from policy, you can always…
- Provide real-time policy alerts – Automations can sound the alarm on employees if they are booking out of your policy guidelines. This gives employees instant feedback and reduces the risk of non-compliance.
- Make the booking process simple – When policies are built directly into your travel platform, it makes it easy for your team to see if their choices align with the company travel policy. This saves them time and reduces the risk of errors.
Track and tackle compliance issues
This sounds daunting, but it’s a great opportunity to improve policy compliance and make sure your team is following guidelines. By identifying areas where employees struggle most, you can take action to target communications that help them stay compliant.
For example, let's say you notice that some of your team often submits expense reports that don't meet your policy guidelines. They might go over the meal allowance or submit receipts for expense claims that aren't covered. By keeping track of this, you can let travelers know when they're about to submit out-of-policy travel expenses and where to find the information.
Setting travel and expense policy compliance targets will also help your company measure how effective the policy is overall. After all, without setting goals, how do you know if you're actually doing something of value? Over time, these steps should reduce non-compliant employee spending and make your travel policy more effective.
Ensure Travel & Expense policies are up-to-date
If it’s been a minute since you last reviewed your travel and expense policy, it’s no wonder your travelers aren’t complying! Outdated policies are misleading, inaccurate, and nearly impossible not to violate. Laws and regulations change, UI on travel tech gets a makeover, company culture and values evolve – you get the picture. There’s a lot that can change over time.
So, unless you want to confuse your team, we recommend businesses review their travel policy at least once a year to make sure it's elevant. Here are a few ways you can identify areas for improvement in your T&E:
- Seek employee feedback – It's important to seek employee feedback on your business travel policy to understand their pain points and areas where the policy could be improved. For example, are you considering employee needs and building inclusivity and accessibility into your policy? Feedback can be collected through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one meetings.
- Stay up to date with industry changes – The corporate travel industry is constantly evolving, and it's essential to stay up to date with changes that could impact the policy. This includes changes in regulations, travel trends, and emerging technologies.
- Involve stakeholders in the update process – It's essential to involve all stakeholders (including finance, HR, and travel managers) in the process to make sure the policy aligns with the company's goals and objectives. A travel management company can offer ideas on best practices and industry changes.
By building policy into your booking tool, tracking and tackling compliance issues, and making sure your policy is up-to-date, you can create a culture of compliance and accountability – and did we mention you don’t have to do it all on your own?
With these strategies in place, your corporate travel policy is sure to soar. Embrace travel policy compliance tools and create policies that are inclusive and accommodating to all employees. You'll build a travel program that not only meets your company's goals and objectives but also enhances your employees' travel experience.