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January 28, 2020

3 Ways HR Can Wow Employees with Travel

An enterprise corporate travel team has a real opportunity to make an important impact on their company’s culture. In fact, for companies looking to enhance corporate culture in the coming year, the HR team may well want to extend a meeting invite to their corporate travel leaders and form a partnership on the initiative for 2020.

Where are the biggest impacts with such an initiative? They fall across many aspects of the People team, but let’s start with recruiting.

1. Enhancing the recruitment experience to excite candidates

When a prospective employee is at the point where they are ready for face-to-face interviews, both sides of the hire want to look their best. We know what that means for a candidate, but what does that mean for the recruiting team? Aside from ensuring the interview schedule is set and rooms are booked, the question of travel management comes up as well. Providing a smooth and easy hiring experience will provide an excellent impression.

  • Avoid the back-and-forth over airlines, flight schedules, airports, and hotel preferences
  • Keep recruitment bookings within policy
  • Ensure visibility of candidates’ travel schedules

The result: recruits that come onboard with a favourable impression of your organisation and fired up to produce.

2. From positive feelings to positive revenue growth

Another area of major impact for most organisations is around corporate culture. As the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) points out, companies with a positive culture are strongly correlated with better productivity, performance, and profits. So what’s the connection between culture and business travel?

If your company has a large contingent of the organisation that travels—often it’s the sales team, but business travel cuts across all departments of many companies—travel for sales is a large slice of the travel budget. The happiness of a sales team—or lack thereof—can ripple across an organisation. As the saying goes, a happy sales team is a productive sales team, so what of an unhappy sales team? When you have a goal around improving morale and enhancing culture company-wide, providing ease around travel for a department that is central is how to inspire more positive feelings.

  • Enhance the work-life of employees who travel a lot
  • Partner with finance on better management of travel budget
  • Kick off the domino effect of company satisfaction

Moreover, while you’re working to provide a better culture, you’re also enabling your team to get things done. And travelling helps: 81.6 % of business travellers agree or strongly agree that “When it comes to getting things done, meeting in person is more effective than meeting virtually.” according to the Skift State of Business Travel 2020 report.

3. Empower employees to explore the world at their bleisure

Bleisure is quickly becoming an important factor for employees who are looking to better manage work-life balance and incorporate fun into our 24/7, always-on world. Bleisure (business + leisure) lets employees turn a business trip into an opportunity to connect—with friends in the area, or a new location they’ve never had a chance to explore before. One recent study cited by Skift found that 60 percent of business trips include a leisure component.

For HR teams, this blesiure trend offers a chance to provide employees with a sense that their company supports their lives. In fact, according to the Skift State of Business Travel 2020:

Fifty-seven percent of business travellers either strongly agreed or agreed that they had combined work and leisure trips in the past 12 months. A relatively significant number of corporate travel managers said they had noticed the bleisure trend as well, with 44 percent noting they strongly agreed or agreed that more employees were participating in bleisure activities. That said, the more than 10 percentage point gap between the two groups indicates that company policy managers could be doing more to design business travel solutions that allow for employees to take advantage of bleisure travel while on work trips.
  • Support the “whole employee” by making it part of your company culture—and travel policy
  • Foster work-life balance and personal exploration
  • Create a no-cost perk for adventurous employees

The result here? When employees feel that their company’s values are aligned with their own, and supported in their outside-of-work goals, they’re naturally going to feel more engaged in their role—and invested in your organisation’s success.

No doubt: these are not the only ways HR can wow employees via a great travel programme. But they’re a great place to start. If you’re looking to explore how People teams have a vested interest in providing a great travel programme learn more in the ebook HR’s Guide to Business Traveller Happiness.

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