The world that the business traveller circumnavigates is changing in so many different ways. In light of the recent disruption caused by the global pandemic, we’ve seen the emergence and uptake of ever-more sophisticated video-conferencing platforms. Despite this, and other environmental, political and economic concerns, global business travel isn’t going to stop.
In order for corporate travel managers to navigate this dynamic world, a robust travel policy is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity. Forget cost savings – although those are nice to have too – what’s driving the need for travel policies nowadays is people and the way their expectations are changing.
The Personal Touch
Outside of work, your employees are getting used to personalized experiences and they expect the same from the tools they use at work. They’ll expect a hotel to know who they are on arrival, and an airline to know what sort of meal they would like. They also want to use the kinds of apps that they run their lives from at home. Triplink, a SAP Concur solution, provides employees with the consumer grade experience they require, one that does not negatively impact your business’ wider needs.
By adopting a technology platform like SAP Concur, you give back the freedom and user friendliness that employees want. Automation means that you no longer have to lay down the law, using draconian, authoritative language to communicate policies. Instead, the rules are written in a language and tone that reflects the culture of the business and are embedded into the booking system. The employee is gently guided into booking within policy guidelines with visual cues and relevant messaging in the right place at the right time.
Within Concur Travel, for instance, there are visual indicators, traffic light systems of red, amber and green on the book button that clearly show which options are in policy, not preferred, and out of policy, and more importantly, why. Employees want to be treated as equals.
And again, this is about people, not technology. As the workforce gets younger, potential employees are making their decisions about who to work for based upon travel policies – if these are too restrictive, you might miss out on the most dynamic candidates.
Looking After Your People
As business travel recovers and traveller confidence becomes ever more important, duty of care considerations will become a greater focus within travel policies.
These considerations range from the need for ways to locate, communicate and assist a traveller if they are in the vicinity of an incident, to the wisdom of allowing an employee to drive a hire car to the hotel following a nine-hour economy flight. In the future, there will be a raft of new risks – for instance, autonomous cars will throw up new questions about safety. An up-to-date travel policy ensures you and your employees are protected from whatever the world throws at you.
As Darryl McGarvey at SAP Concur says: “A balance has to be struck between controlling costs and promoting a working environment where travellers feel cared for on their journey.” In return for feeling cared for and given the freedom to book how and when they like, customers of SAP Concur solutions get something back", says Darryl. “Employees increasingly respect the policy, are good corporate citizens, and visual guilt ensures they spend the money as if it were their own.”
It comes back to the point that people make a policy work. Making the choice to switch to something like SAP Concur solutions can help people make the policy work by giving them an easier ride, a positive experience and a good amount of autonomy. SAP Concur solutions ensure travel policy and duty of care requirements are applied to all bookings, regardless of where they originate. Surely that’s what every travel policy maker wants.
Now more than ever you should speak to an SAP Concur team member. Your policy can be adapted to meet the demands of the post-pandemic world, now and in the future.