Your company’s travel policy sets the stage for everything related to future business trips. When it’s well-designed, your role becomes that of guidance and support staff rather than an active participant in the whole process.
In addition to the time saved on questions and approval, writing or revamping the company policy gives you a chance to ensure it’s in line with any new goals.
Corporate travel is a vital part of business, and it can bring in at least ten times a return on your investment. It’s worth the resources it takes to write the perfect company policy now and build your foundation of ROI the right way.
This short guide tells you everything you need to include in your travel policy to get you started.
1. The Overview and Access
As you design the policy’s outline, consider who is going to use it and where you’ll store it. Some companies keep their policy in a binder on a bookshelf in a back office where no one has touched it in years, but it lets them check the audit box that they have a travel policy.
Since you’re creating a policy that will increase your ROI and decrease the use of internal resources, you want to put thought into the setup and storage.
Before you start writing, decide if it’s going to be mostly accessible online or in paper format. This will help you to know if you should be adding hyperlinks, adjusting the Table of Contents to include clickable headings, using other web-friendly tools, or adding extra pages so that everything is included in paper format.
2. Company Goals and Near-Future Evolution
Why are you writing the travel policy for your company? What are the main takeaways you want it to provide when it’s complete?
These are the goals that will guide you as you choose to touch on or go deeply into certain factors. For instance, some important areas a travel policy includes are:
- Safety of employees during business trips
- Booking procedures for travel and lodging
- Per diems and reimbursement policies
- Duty of Care and insurance information
- Workflow processes for each step
All of these categories must be included in the policy, but some are more important than others to an individual business. It’s up to you to verify that everything you write in each section meets your company’s goals.
Keep in mind any business-wide evolution on the horizon. Is your company merging into a new look or paradigm?
Whatever the future changes are, from reducing carbon footprints to increasing the tech presence, this should be clearly shown in the final travel policy.
3. Topics to Include
Travel policy writers have to juggle the fine line between a comprehensive product and one that’s so cumbersome no one wants to read it. Using an electronic format helps solve this dilemma because you can hyperlink to outside sources instead of printing everything into a book.
Regardless of the length, there are some essential topics that must be included. Avoid unnecessarily complicated explanations as you add a section for each of these travel steps:
- Using company-preferred booking tools or travel agents to plan flights, car rentals, and lodging
- Mileage and other reimbursement claims processes
- Travel costs that are approved, broken down by department
- Preferred vendors in all approved industry segments
- Travel insurance policy information and coverage
- The Duty of Care statement for your company
- How to get approval for any excess spending over the budget
- Any exclusions or exceptions
At the beginning of each section, include a small blurb that tells readers where to go for help. Make this bold and obvious; otherwise, they’ll come to you for every question they have, even if you are sending them to someone else for the solution.
Ultimately, the travel policy should cut down on your role in the workflow. It should enable each person to be able to complete most of the steps involved in a business trip without your input, thus increasing your productivity in other areas of your job.
The perfect company travel policy balances corporate goals, employee accessibility, and independent planning abilities. When everyone knows what they need to do next, the system works efficiently, saving internal resources and increasing business travel ROI.
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