HR’s most asked questions about corporate travel management

Krizia Mojado
Krizia Mojado
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If you’re an HR professional in a company without a dedicated travel department, you’ve likely found yourself in the hot seat more than once, having to deal with the numerous nuances of corporate travel management. This post aims to provide handy, concise answers to some of the most common questions you might have. 

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How can we effectively communicate travel policies and updates to employees?

Keeping a business traveller informed about company policies is a multi-faceted task. We live in an era where some employees want real-time updates, which is where multiple communication platforms come in. Here are some strategies.

  • Emails: Everyone checks their email, right? A well-structured email can clearly outline any travel policy changes. Remember, simplicity is the key.
  • Intranet or employee portals: These are fantastic places for a more permanent, accessible travel policy repository.
  • Regular updates: The world changes rapidly, and your travel policies should reflect that.
  • Automation: Using travel management software can streamline communication. After all, Gartner predicts that by 2024, organizations will decrease operational costs by 30% by fusing operational process redesign with hyper-automation technology.

What support can we offer employees who frequently travel for business?

Supporting your employees who travel is one of the main HR challenges. A Forbes study showed that well-supported employees are 20% more productive. Here are a few ways to provide support.

  • Travel assistance programs: These can offer immediate help when employees encounter problems on their trips.
  • Pre-trip planning support: Help employees understand what they’ll need for their trips and provide resources to prepare.
  • Access to a dedicated travel coordinator: Having a go-to person for travel questions is invaluable. Companies like TruTrip offer 24/7 service from travel experts—a fantastic option, especially given the time zone changes that frequent travellers experience.

How can we address corporate travel-related fatigue and its impact on employee productivity?

Travel-related fatigue can have a significant impact on productivity. An interview in Fast Company reported that business travellers who are on the road 14 or more days per month have a higher risk of various health problems. Here are ways to encourage employees to prioritize rest and self-care:

  • Incorporate downtime in travel schedules.
  • Provide tips for managing jet lag and maintaining healthy routines.

Are there any guidelines or policies for managing travel-related expenses during extended business trips?

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Transparency in travel and expense management is crucial. Some people find themselves shocked to know the original cost of their travel. To mitigate such risks, you should:

Set Clear Guidelines for Allowances and Expenses

Setting clear, explicit guidelines for what expenses can be claimed—and what can’t—forms the backbone of an effective policy. Here’s what this extends to:

  • Meal Allowances: Specify a per diem for meals or define what constitutes a reasonable meal expense.
  • Accommodation: Set boundaries for what kind of accommodations are acceptable, taking into account factors like safety, comfort, and proximity to the business location.
  • Incidentals: Identify which incidental costs can be reimbursed, such as transportation or personal care items.

Follow Your Budget

Staying within budget is vital. Not only does this help control costs, but it also makes the reimbursement process smoother and faster. 

Align Policies with Local Regulations

Be mindful of the local regulations in the regions where your employees are travelling. OECD noted that tax laws, in particular, vary greatly and could impact what is an acceptable claim. This ensures your company is compliant with both internal policies and external regulations. 

What measures can be taken to accommodate employees with specific needs or disabilities during business travel?

Providing accommodations for employees with specific needs is a legal and ethical necessity. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides guidelines for such accommodations. Your approach should:

  • Identify and address the specific needs of employees with disabilities.
  • Provide accessible accommodations and transportation.
  • Ensure compliance with disability laws and regulations.

How can we streamline the process of obtaining necessary travel documents, such as visas or work permits?

Navigating travel documents can be exhausting. The World Tourism Organization states that 61% of the world population requires a visa before travelling. You can help by:

  • Offering guidance and resources on obtaining travel documents.
  • Providing access to visa services or immigration support.
  • Communicating specific requirements or timelines.

What resources or training can be provided to help employees adapt to different cultural norms and practices during international travel?

One key aspect of managing business travel that can be overlooked is the importance of understanding and adapting to different cultural norms and practices during international travel. When it comes to fostering successful international business relations, the significance of this cannot be overstated.

In a globalized economy, cross-cultural competency is crucial. According to Harvard Business Review, the inability to overcome cultural barriers can lead to substantial business losses. 

To ensure your employees are culturally savvy and ready to seize global opportunities, consider the following steps.

Offer Cultural Training Sessions

Cultural training sessions are a great starting point. These sessions can educate your team on the social norms, communication styles, business etiquette, and cultural subtleties that may come into play. The American Society for Training and Development suggests that companies with comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than those without.

Provide Resources on Local Customs, Etiquette, and Business Practices

Besides formal training sessions, consider providing resources for self-study. The Institute of International Education found that providing employees with country-specific information, like business etiquette or common phrases, significantly increases their comfort and effectiveness when abroad. Here’s what these resources can be.

  • Books: There are numerous books that cover culture and business etiquette in different countries.
  • Online Resources: Websites or digital documents can be easily updated with current information.
  • Mentorship Programs: Pairing employees with colleagues who have experience in a specific country can be highly beneficial.

All the above are helpful ways to empower your employees, but it may be exhausting for you to prepare all of them. You may reap the benefits of a travel management company as they offer these reports in one click.

How can we integrate sustainability and environmental considerations into our business travel practices?

Sustainable travel is a growing concern. states that 87% of global travellers want to travel sustainably. To support this trend:

  • Encourage employees to opt for environmentally friendly travel options.
  • Promote video conferencing as an alternative to travel when possible.
  • Consider carbon offset programs for flights.

What protocols should be in place for managing travel-related emergencies or crisis situations?

Preparation is crucial in emergencies. Your plan should include:

  • Clear emergency protocols.
  • Designated communication channels.
  • Emergency contact information and procedures.

How can we promote a positive and inclusive travel culture within our organization?

An inclusive travel culture can enhance job satisfaction. To promote inclusivity:

  • Acknowledge and respect diverse travel needs.
  • Promote fair allocation of travel opportunities.
  • Create channels for feedback and suggestions from employees.

Just remember, these are in-depth answers, but the specific details and approaches will vary based on your organization’s policies, industry, and unique considerations. Here’s to smooth sailing (or flying, driving, and commuting) in your corporate travel management role!

How The Right Corporate Travel Management Company Can Be a Game Changer

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In the complex world of corporate travel, having the right partner at your side can make all the difference. A corporate travel management company like TruTrip revolutionizes the travel experience with its tailored solutions, ensuring seamless travel while taking into consideration the unique needs of each business. 

As a trusted partner and travel management solution, TruTrip alleviates the stress of travel planning and management, allowing businesses to focus on what truly matters: seizing global opportunities and driving growth. Harnessing technology and expertise, TruTrip delivers a robust, efficient, and user-friendly platform, reshaping the way businesses approach travel. Remember, in the journey of corporate success, the right travel management ally is not a luxury but a necessity. 

Embark on that journey with TruTrip and reap the benefits of using a cutting-edge travel management system: book a demo or start a free trial today.