Travel Managers are continually expected to further optimize travel programs. How you go about making optimizations year after year depends on the results expected from you. As the world continues to resume pre-pandemic activities, the top priority for 2022 will undoubtedly be business traveler safety. Let’s break down ways to optimize business traveler safety, beginning with data.
1. Data is the Foundation of Business Traveler Safety
Collecting booking data from multiple sources can be a nightmare. When you obtain your program’s data from your preferred travel management company, OTA’s, and supplier-direct bookings, you are left with data in multiple formats, with inconsistency in data points, and blind spots that require further investigation.
When you implement a travel data capture platform like Traxo, you gain access to all your corporate bookings regardless of where the traveler has reserved their trip—compliant or not. Traxo’s process aggregates and standardizes all of your program’s compliant and non-compliant data in one platform in real-time, with no manual work required.
2. Clear and Concise Policies Protect Business Traveler Safety
How often have you joined a new company, or been given a new policy to review and sign-off on, only to find the policy is just one of many lengthy documents filled with an abundance of information that you are unlikely to retain? That is a common problem and an unfortunate one. Policies should be comprehensible, retainable, and easily accessed for future reference.
Accessibility is especially important for those who are less familiar with navigating your corporate travel program, such as in-frequent business travelers. Your road warriors and executives are far more likely to understand the “do’s and don’ts” of corporate travel.
Policies should be clear, concise, and easy to navigate. You can accomplish this by:
- Having a clearly defined index
- Ensuring your headers throughout the document are consistent
- Keeping how-to type information in a separate document or webpage, which you can reference within your policy
Eliminating the cross-over between policy and instructional how-to’s will help you keep your document concise while providing your internal audit team with the necessary information for policy enforcement. Having a shorter policy allows for better readability and information retention.
3. Communication is Mission Critical to Business Traveler Safety
“Help! I am in the middle of a travel crisis and I don’t know who to call,” are words no travel manager should hear. We’re not referring to routine flight cancellations, but true crises which leave your travelers feeling stressed, anxious and fearful.
Do your business travelers know how to get in touch with your designated risk management company in an emergency, such as InternationalSOS or Crisis24? Travelers should be educated on the process to follow when in a crisis scenario before their first business trip occurs. It’s important to have crisis line information saved to the traveler’s mobile device, at minimum. It’s also crucial that your travelers maintain up-to-date emergency contact information.
4. Optimize Business Traveler Safety with Policies and Standards
The travel industry speaks at great lengths about the importance of duty of care, mitigating traveler risk and the overall health and safety of business travelers. While some companies have defined and established travel risk management policies in place, others may not—especially those small to mid-sized businesses that are still building out travel management programs.
You may find yourself scratching your head when this hot topic comes up, so how can you get started? ISO has recently launched a travel risk management standard known as ISO-31030 that provides organizations with guidance on a variety of topics including policies, mitigating risks, identifying threats and developing a suitable program. The standard can be viewed and purchased online.
Prepare for a Safe and Successful 2022
Optimizing business traveler safety is no small feat, however, it is critically important. There are resources, platforms and trusted agencies available to best assist you in developing and optimizing your duty of care policies, many of which are featured on our partnerships page. For assistance aggregating the travel data required to ensure traveler safety for compliant and non-compliant bookings, reach out to the Traxo team today.