All companies that have a need for employees to travel should have corporate travel policies in place. Whether it’s setting guidelines for spending, how to book hotels and flights, or how to track reimbursements, it’s a necessary guideline for companies. And while it’s not always the most fun to have to enforce, it’s an effective way to set in place expectations for corporate travel. Here are five must haves for your corporate travel policy:
Options and Flexibility
A great many employees are not fans of rigid policies and will go outside of them to book travel. To avoid that, your company should do research and negotiate terms with vendors in advance – a lot of negotiation! Give your employees multiple options for flights, hotels, and car rentals or services, and you’ll find that they more often adhere to the guidelines.
When you write your corporate travel policy, be sure to be very exact with the expense categories you list. You should be sure and list every travel and entertainment related expenses that your company will cover, including meals, hotels, entertaining clients, etc. There shouldn’t be any wiggle room on this, and it should be very clear up front what is covered and what isn’t.
Among other non-negotiables, drycleaning, hotel staff tipping, in-room movies, etc. are definitely not allowed. Anything that your company will absolutely not pay for should be written into the corporate travel policy and reinforced with every trip your employees take.
Expense Reporting and Reimbursement Procedures
Make it very clear from the get go how employees are to track and report their expenses. Whether you use an online tool (with an associated app!) or more simple tracking methodology, make it clear what back up details you want and how you want to have it reimbursed to you (have a few options for your employees, which will make them happy, i.e. direct deposit or check or electronic payment).
As much as you trust your employees to go on their trip and return home with simply meeting success, there must be safety guidelines in place as well. Always have your employee’s travel details (flight, hotel) and know what your insurance policies are with the hotel itself.
An effective corporate travel policy is a necessary tool for a successful company.