How Can Corporate Travel Management Solution Impact Employee Satisfaction?
You cannot delight all of the people, all of the time – but the professionals at Beep share how one can give their best shot in smartly managing business travel in this age of automation.
In spite of living in the digital era, the need to meet business partners face-to-face still exist. A report from Oxford Economics stated that for every USD 1 spent on corporate travel, organizations gained USD 12.50 incremental revenue. Businesses tend to lose 28% of present-day business without face-to-face meetings. However, managing business travel requests brings up lots of questions.
The question,” Did you enjoy your business trip?” may perhaps not top the minds of Chief Financial Officer or Chief Procurement Officer, but it must. Employee satisfaction in business travel is a bit of an underdog, but it plays an outstanding if indirect, role in business outcomes. Corporate travel can be stressful, and every effort to enhance business travel satisfaction can boost employee morale, decrease staff turnover, and make recruiting smoother.
So, what makes corporate travelers happy? Alternatively, maybe, more significantly, what are the barriers or challenges that make up for a poor corporate travel experience? These are few much-solicited questions in the world of managed business travel, and the answers are often not straightforward.
Corporates are often the first on the list to be the target of complaints from employees if and when their business trips don’t go smoothly, or they are compelled to take significantly longer routes to their destination to save a few bucks on the road fare or airfare. They may be equally frustrated if they are obliged to stay in a hotel they do not like or cannot chalk up their desired loyalty points.
Some corporates merely shrug their shoulders and point out to their employees spending company’s money and therefore in such a situation, the compulsion to follow the defined corporate travel policy and book with preferred modes of transportation, irrespective of their personal preferences arises. However, on the flip side of the coin, there’s a convincing argument that happy business travelers are expected to have more productive and successful business trips.
So, what do employees want?
As new business opportunities come up, it also opens a gate to whole new set of administrative tasks that demand a great deal of time and resources. Beginning from requesting a corporate trip to handling business travel reimbursements, there are plenty of moving parts. Organizations might end up paying way more than their initial budget when these processes are not handled precisely.
The latest survey from GBTA revealed the key drivers of business traveler satisfaction during business travel: Booking flexibility, tracking and reporting automation, productivity through business trips, keeping on top of daily work while planning a business trip; and having to travel over weekends and public holidays.
Corporate travelers who categorized themselves as “unhappy” had very few levels of freedom when booking their travel, or had tedious manual processes for claiming reimbursements. However, what could be done to confront these challenges to make life better for business travelers, without intruding or intimidating their company’s chief priorities, like raising compliance levels? This is even more baffling in the age when cost-cutting is usually the priority for companies.
There is a thin line between erratically cutting costs while still easing employee’s lives. This is where a good Corporate travel solution that facilitates to tread this line comes in.
Technology is often quoted as a panacea capable of resolving the possible disconnects between the needs of an employee and its employer when it comes to corporate travel.
Streamline reporting and expense tracking
It is appropriate to say that it is an enormous hassle to submit an expense report. The market is rife with stories about frauds on expense reports which eventually adds yet another challenge for managers accountable for report approvals, as well as those trying to track and control business travel expenses. Employees hate preparing them, and most of the travel desk administrators in the companies hate reviewing them.Manual entry of reports remains fundamental in 80% of the organizations that have automated reporting solutions in place. Applying statistics on losses incurred by companies due to fraudulent activities in expense reimbursements is estimated at over USD one billion every year. The thing is that when employees are on expense accounts, they tend to spend more for the reason they think it as someone else’s money and that only raises the number of transactions that admins have to account for eventually.Post-travel tasks of gathering, submitting, and tracking business travel expenses can be tedious and time-consuming for even the most digitally savvy generation. However, for most organizations, the expense management processes are still manual, paper-based processes which are slow, inefficient, costly and error-prone. Advancements in technology can facilitate companies to significantly reduce their operational costs, streamline business processes, enhance internal controls and introduce electronic expense report submission to help move the needle to employee satisfaction and ease to the corporates.
Allow travel booking flexibility
Being micromanaged is something that a millennial employee doesn’t like. With millennials demanding more flexibility in their work and lifestyle, it’s normal that corporate travel falls into same realm. The millennials are tech-savvy and less probable to stick with rigid and outdated methods. Corporate travelers are progressively getting uncomfortable. Why? There are times when getting cabs during peak hours or renting cabs for day-long necessities is often a hassle because of availability issues and also due to high monetary demands by the drivers. Today, employees require timely cabs, with a self-booking facility thus allowing much flexibility. Also, they would like to pick their ride types and timings.They prefer self-booking. Self-booking empowers them with flexibility to collect loyalty points, ride with their favorite ground transport of their choice of model and time. This way business travelers tend to save a lot of time post eradicating much back-and-forth that is usually required to book business trips. Employees can self-book their business trips with the same freedom as they book their leisure trips, but in a way that is bound within the corporate travel policy of organizations and saves company money.Business travel management is making a shift towards trust, transparency, and simplicity from micromanagement. A corporate travel solution makes it easy for corporate travelers to book their business trips within company policy so that the admins can easily control costs without micromanaging while boosting employee satisfaction.
Happy business travelers are happy employees and vice versa. When enhancing your business travel program, make sure it serves the employee so the employee can better serve your business.
Satisfied business travelers tend to stay on the job longer and are more productive than associates who are generally stressed out and exhausted from corporate trips. Business travel satisfaction empowers an organization to step up its competitive edge through consistent execution of strategic plans.
Establishing these types of “win-win” conditions is expected to be paramount in improving employee satisfaction levels among business travelers in the coming years. However, technology solution like Beep’s corporate travel management can help to find innovative ways to ease out the business travel challenges and find the right balance for employees and organizations alike.