Travel Management

Why your employees are ignoring the travel policy (and 5 strategies to get them back on track!)

Discover why employees often deviate from the travel policy and the top strategies to get them back on track.

A corporate travel policy is needed to ensure efficient, cost-effective, and compliant business travel. However, most companies face the same challenges – despite having a well-defined travel policy, employees often deviate from them, which leads to higher travel costs, compliance issues, and potential safety risks. In this article, we'll explore why so many travel policies fall short and what you can do to get yours back on track. 

1. Lack of awareness and communication

One reason that employees are not following your travel policy is down to a simple lack of awareness, which stems from a lack of communication. What you may find is that employees don’t even fully understand the policy, why they have to follow it, nor what happens if they don’t. The right communication approach is therefore key to ensuring that every member of the team is well-informed about the travel guidelines.

Solution: Run regular training sessions and use internal communication channels to educate employees about the travel policy. Clearly outline the benefits of the policy, why they should stick to it and what happens if they don’t.


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2. You're using outdated systems 

Are you using an outdated or complex travel management system (TMS) or online booking tool (OBT)? If processes are too complex, employees will be tempted to switch back to tried and tested ways of booking their own travel, especially if there are no repercussions to doing so.  

Solution: Invest in user-friendly and efficient travel management systems that simplify the booking and approval processes. Streamlining these processes will make sure that employees stick to the policy, because it requires less work on the part of the employee. 

3. There's no incentive

Employees are more likely to stick to a corporate travel policy if they feel recognized and rewarded for their efforts. If there are no incentives or any acknowledgment for sticking to the rules, employees may not prioritize it.

Solution: Introduce a reward system or recognition program for employees or teams that adhere to the travel policy. This could include recognition in company newsletters, gift cards, or other tangible rewards to motivate employees to prioritize the travel policy.

4. You're using a "one-size-fits-all" approach

 A one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best way of meeting your employee needs and individual travel preferences. If the corporate travel policy is too rigid and doesn’t take into account individual preferences or unique circumstances, employees may be tempted to deviate from it.

Solution: Allow for some degree of flexibility within the policy to accommodate individual needs. Tailor the policy to different roles or departments while maintaining the core guidelines. This approach ensures that employees can stick to the policy without feeling overly restricted.

5. It's not being enforced

If no one is responsible for enforcing the policy, and there aren’t any consequences to not following it, employees might see it as optional. That’s why it’s important to keep monitoring it to see if it’s working, and to keep your employees on track. 

Solution: Implement some measures to monitor travel policy compliance. Introduce consequences for those who don’t follow the rules, such as delayed reimbursements or additional approval steps. Consistent enforcement sends a clear message that employees need to stick to the guidelines… or else! 


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