HR’s Key Role in corporate travel management

Krizia Mojado
Krizia Mojado
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When a company lacks a dedicated travel department, business travel management becomes a bit of a hot potato that is passed around various departments. 

From accounting to office managers, everyone gets a slice of the travel pie. Fortunately, the HR department frequently ends up with the largest component and the responsibility for making sure everyone is on the same page.

If you’re a bit puzzled about HR’s role in corporate travel management, you’re not alone. The lines are often blurry. But today, we’re going to make things crystal clear, exploring the nitty-gritty of HR’s critical role in managing corporative or SME business travel.

Corporate travel policy development

Policy development is one of the most significant ways HR dips its toes into the business travel management waters.

HR shares the responsibility for developing and implementing corporate travel policies, and crucial documents that outline guidelines, procedures, and limitations for employee travel. These policies are the bread and butter of organized, effective business travel. They ensure consistency so everyone knows the drill and promote compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

HR’s policy creation aligns perfectly with the company’s broader objectives. Egencia reported in 2023 that companies with clear corporate travel policies have a higher employee compliance rate, which can result in significant cost savings.

These policies can include:

  • Guidelines for booking transportation and accommodation.
  • Meal and incidental expense limits.
  • Guidance on using company credit cards.
  • Policies on combining business and leisure travel.

Clear travel policies lay the groundwork for seamless business travel experiences and ensure everyone is playing by the same rules.

Traveller Support and Assistance


Let’s turn the spotlight onto the next important act in the HR show. You might view HR departments as primarily policy-centric, but in reality, they’re so much more. Their compassion, reliability, and unwavering dedication make them the ultimate support system for employees throughout their travel journeys.

HR is there, offering a wide array of assistance to employees on the move. From the seemingly insurmountable task of navigating visa applications to the intricacies of securing travel insurance, HR has your back. 

Look at these stats that illustrate the scope and impact of HR’s traveller support.

  • A Skift study found that some passengers feel overburdened by visa application procedures. HR departments frequently intervene in this situation by offering vital advice and resources.
  • It is impossible to stress the importance of travel insurance support. According to a Business Insider survey in 2023, 55% of business travellers bought insurance from a travel provider. HR can assist in explaining these complicated documents.
  • Some business visitors might have problems with their lodging arrangements. Booking accommodations with HR’s assistance can significantly lessen this tension.

But HR really shines when things start to go wrong. Anyone might become overwhelmed by a travel emergency, but with HR in charge, you’re not alone. They are the group that springs into action and provide prompt, effective aid. 

According to a 2020 SAP Concur poll, 31% of business travellers had a disaster on a trip in the previous year. This statistic emphasizes the critical need for a committed HR team that is prepared to step in should things go wrong.

Compliance and Risk Management

Companies are supposed to look after employee wellbeing and the inherent risks that come along with business travel cannot be overstated. But it’s here, within these potential pitfalls and complexities, that HR truly shines, playing a critical role in managing these risks and ensuring compliance.

First and foremost, HR is the company’s diligent guard, working in tandem with legal and compliance teams. This collaborative approach ensures that every iota of business travel adheres not only to laws and regulations but also to the guidelines clearly outlined in the company’s policies. This dual compliance approach ensures safety, legality, and propriety at every turn.

But HR’s responsibility goes far beyond policy development and enforcement. Let’s look at the numbers to see just how far.

  • Risk Assessment: A significant part of HR’s role involves conducting meticulous risk assessments for all business travel. A risk assessment by HR departments can reduce travel-related accidents.
  • Safety Protocols: Establishing safety protocols for a business traveller is another key area. HR sets up protocols that guide employees on what to do in case of emergencies, reducing panic and promoting safety. For instance, a 2020 study by OECD revealed that companies with clear safety protocols experience a lower incidence of travel-related issues.
  • Guidance on Duty of Care: HR also takes the lead on the duty of care obligations, providing guidance that helps prevent travel-related legal disputes. An International SOS study shows that travel businesses with strong duty of care guidance can decrease legal issues related to travel.

These responsibilities all contribute to the core objective: mitigating corporate travel-related risks and crafting a safer, more secure travel experience for employees. It’s all about turning the potential minefield of business travel into a smooth journey.

As we look to the future, the role of HR in managing travel risks becomes even more critical. According to International SOS, a staggering 47% of businesses expect travel risks to increase in the next year. This sharp increase highlights the urgent and crucial role HR departments play in identifying and effectively managing potential travel hazards. Moreover, adopting the right corporate travel management system can make this task significantly easier for corporate travel managers. 

Training and Education

Last but certainly not least, HR also has an essential role in training and educating employees about travel policies, safety procedures, and best practices.

After crafting the policies, HR’s next job is to ensure everyone knows, understands, and can implement these guidelines. They may conduct training sessions or provide resources to boost employee awareness about travel-related matters.

This includes:

  • Understanding security protocols.
  • Following health precautions while travelling.
  • Respecting cultural differences in international destinations.

This educational aspect is key, given that the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has identified the lack of policy awareness as one of the most significant HR challenges when it comes to business travel. HR’s training and education efforts help overcome this hurdle, ensuring everyone is prepared before setting foot on a plane.

Empower Your HR with TruTrip

Your HR department should be equipped with the right tools for effective and efficient business travel management through TruTrip. 

Our comprehensive corporate travel management platform streamlines the entire process, from policy creation to travel and expense management or reporting. TruTrip also provides real-time data insights, enabling HR to make informed decisions and react promptly to travel emergencies. Plus, our user-friendly interface means employees can easily keep track of their travel arrangements, making for smoother business trips all around.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Treat your HR department to the TruTrip experience and see the difference for yourself. It’s time to empower your HR and elevate your travel management to new heights. Ready to transform your organization’s travel management? 
Book a free demo with us today, or sign up for a free trial and embark on a smoother journey with TruTrip.