How to effectively manage work travel budgets: Balancing cost vs. employee satisfaction
Travel managers are constantly grappling with how to manage work travel budgets and reduce their business travel expenses while satisfying traveler needs.
“Every company is trying to find that balance between supporting travelers, maximizing comfort and flexibility for them, while also controlling costs,” said Alla Neys, Director of Global Travel Programs for Medallia, a company that offers a cloud-based platform to capture customer feedback. With all the variables in a corporate travel program and its related travel costs, the ideal is “to find that sweet spot to have all three,” she said. “That’s why we write the policy, release it, look for feedback to see what works and what doesn’t, and then we adjust.”
Added Neys, “Our vision is to create a world where companies are loved by their customers and employees, and we view our travel policy as one small way we can make life productive and easier for our people.” Medallia officially incorporated Airbnb into the company’s corporate travel program in 2016.
Focus on business travelers, not just business travel expenses
Scott Gillespie, CEO at tClara, advises companies to reconsider their approach to cost savings and travel expenses by shifting the focus from reducing travel costs by using connecting flights to saving business travelers from unwanted friction.
“If your policy asks employees to take a connection to save $50,” Gillespie said, “think about what that means to how much time they are spending traveling, instead of working, the increased risks of a missed flight or lost bag, and the frustration your employee will feel as a result.”