Balancing Employee Travel Satisfaction with Compliance


Companies have a problem they’re facing when it comes to employee travel and the policies that guide traveling. Employers need to keep employees happy. Satisfaction is often more important to employee retention than any other workplace factor including pay. At the same time, going over budget can also be a huge problem when it comes to employee travel.

Employees are looking at it all from the perspective that they don’t want to be miserable when they’re traveling for work. Employers are looking at the bottom line and trying to figure out how they can keep costs in check without ruing the experience for employees. Employers also have to think about the technicalities, for example, global expense tax regulations.

So how can all of this be balanced? How can employee travel satisfaction and compliance go hand-in-hand with one another, rather than working against each other?

Automate Expense Management

When employees feel like they’re autonomous and in control of their travel experience, it’s going to improve satisfaction significantly. A good way to provide a sense of independence and autonomy and still keep costs in control is to use automated expense management technology.

With expense management solutions, employees have the freedom to make more of their own choices, but at the same time, the employer has control and visibility into what’s being spent and where. It can be a win-win.

With strong expense management software, employers can also take the headache and burden out of managing the technicalities like the global tax regulations.

View Your Policies As Evolving

Too often, especially in large companies, there is the sense that a travel policy is set in stone and that’s just not the case. Employees, the global marketplace and the travel world are constantly changing, and it’s important that travel policies reflect that.

Make sure that your policy is regularly being updated to reflect the real needs and demands of the employees as well as the travel budget of the company.

Define What Your Priorities Are

You need to know, as an organization, what your priorities are. Sometimes businesses become so focused on saving every penny possible that they lose sight of the longer vision. If your goal is satisfied employees who are strategic and as productive as possible when they travel, then you may have to make some accommodations to meet that goal in your travel policy and budget.

Consider the example of a hotel charging for Wi-Fi. The hotel may charge $20 a day for this service. If the company doesn’t include reimbursement for this in their policy, then the employee’s not using it, and they’re losing valuable work and productivity time.

It’s just important when balancing employee needs and satisfaction with cost control that an organization is realistic, and understand that times change and policies should change as well. It can be better in many cases to focus only on enforcing the most important things and giving some freedom and flexibility in other areas. Employees want to feel like they have choices, and not like they’re being micromanaged, and that includes when they’re traveling.


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