How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020
Business travel is a known expense and is generally one of the largest controllable expenses for many companies. While airlines are looking to increase their airfares, hotels are consistently merging, and these changes get passed on to the traveler. There are a few ways of controlling these expenses, so you can create balance, accommodate your employee’s requests or preferences, and lessen the impact of these industry changes.
Here are a few ways to reduce your travel spend in 2020:
Align Employee & Employer Interests
Coming up with a rewards-based program to reduce spending is a good way to create value in your travel policy. In essence, this just means incentivizing employees to spend less.
An example of this is creating a budget for various trip styles. Whether travelling for a trade show, meetings, conferences, each trip should have a budget assigned. If the traveller comes in under budget, they will earn points or credit which can be used for upgrades on their next trip.
Re-Evaluate Your Travel Policy
We talked about this in a previous blog, but sitting down and looking at your travel policy will give you a more accurate view of the areas you can improve. Whether it is renegotiating hotel rates, utilizing other technology, etc., knowing your travel policy inside and out can only help.
There should be enough flexibility to allow for some convenience, clarity in booking processes and the spend thresholds.
Take some time to review your company’s 2018 travel spend. Have a look at the areas where travellers are overspending, underspending, or booking outside of policy. If overspending is an issue, why? If employees are booking outside of the policy, why? Answering these questions will allow you to communicate the travel policy clearly with employees and encourage compliance. If this remains an issue, you may want to consider implementing authorization processes.
These ideas, combined with the utilization of technology in simple reporting from travelers will save your company time and money, increase your employee satisfaction and make business travel more sustainable from all perspectives.
It’s not an expense that is likely to go away, but it is one that you can manage through good communication, clear guidelines, and setting realistic budgets.
Promote Public Transit
Encouraging the use of in-destination public transit (over a taxi), not only helps the environment, it reduces expenses. In cities like Amersterdam, visitors can now pre-pay for a digital transit pass before they leave home. When they land, they head to the airport metro station, scan their smartphone, and off they go toward their hotel. Taking initiative before your staff land creates implied convenience, a benefit which can pay for itself as soon as they land.
Some companies are even bonusing their traveling staff for hitting expense targets. For example, a company could buy its staff a transit pass, while encouraging them to stay under $20 (additional local transit) for the rest of their stay. If they hit that reduced target, they receive a $50 bonus. The numbers need to work based on the number of days in destination, but schemes like this tend to generate results.