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Jun 21, 2019

HR Teams Should Champion Better Business Travel

Sarah Ramos

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The stakes of delivering an excellent business travel experience to employees have never been higher. These days, some 90% of employees believe business travel should be a perk of the job, helping to drive their own career growth and development along with the organization’s success. And in a perfect world, organizations and their employees would live harmoniously on a travel platform that delights and engages both, creating the best possible travel experience for employees while also ensuring travel program compliance so that HR leaders can effectively care for their employees. But in the real world, that’s not always the case.

Where does the problem arise? Business travelers are consumers too, and have become accustomed to having the world at their fingertips while on-the-go. They also know what it’s like to be well cared for, whether as a customer at their favorite retailer or as a guest at their favorite hotel group.

As a result, they expect a seamless travel experience with few bumps (if any) in the road. With restrictions on what to book, where to book, and how to book, corporate trips rarely feel on par with what travelers get as consumers. If the path to booking a trip is riddled with obstacles, employees will always seek the path of least resistance — usually where they can find their preferred flights, lodging, and rental car options –– outside of their company’s travel platform.

This leakage presents key challenges for HR leaders, but ones that a scalable, user-friendly travel platform should solve for. When we consider company culture while on the road, we understand that employee-first business travel experiences unsurprisingly make for happier employees –– and happy employees are up to 20% more productive for their companies. Additionally, easier and quicker to use platforms see higher adoption rates among travelers, giving HR leaders more visibility into where their travelers are and enabling effective duty-of-care.

Delivering delightful business travel requires buy-in from those who actually use your travel platform. But where to begin gathering feedback to offer the right solution? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Get input directly from your business travelers to figure out why they’re not using the preferred solution.
  2. Ask the right questions around the end-to-end business travel experience. This might involve gathering smaller focus groups to get precise and honest feedback.
  3. Explore your travel management solution options based on employee feedback including wants, needs, and pain points.
  4. Measure results against previous travel program engagement rates to gauge how your change is impacting adoption. Change won’t happen overnight, but keeping a close eye on usage will help you understand how employees are feeling about your travel management program.

    If your travel management solution simply isn’t cutting it, check out our guide for HR teams to learn how to measure business traveler happiness, understand why you might be seeing low adoption, and implement upgrades to turn your travel program into a delight.

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