How You Can Optimize Business Travel to Support Your Company Culture

Did you know that businesses spent a massive $1.3 trillion on travel in 2017? Or that 28 percent of all travel and tourism revenue comes from business travel? Whether you're a travel coordinator or a recruiter, you probably know that business trips need to reflect your corporate culture --- your organization's values, goals, and mission. Here are three ways to align business travel with your corporate culture:

1. Fully Understand (and Appreciate) Your Corporate Culture

Sure, you might have read your company's culture strategy in the past, but how well do you understand it? The truth is, many organizations don't properly align travel arrangements with their company's culture, and this often has a negative impact on employees.

Research shows that one-third of employees believe their company's corporate travel policy is ill-managed, and nearly half of these workers say that this results in negative feelings toward business travel as a whole. Employees are more likely to feel tired, frustrated, and unmotivated, for example. Moreover, the majority of employees (56 percent, to be exact) believe their company's corporate travel policy only moderately, at best, aligns with their company's overall culture.

What gives?

Pay more attention to your company's values, missions, and goals and expand your travel policies accordingly. If your company prides itself on giving employees autonomy, for example, or favors freedom, offer employees new travel destinations and experiences. This will foster creativity and result in a happier workforce. Alternatively, offer employees more vacation time --- it boosts productivity.

2. Make Your Travel Policies Easier to Understand

Many employees struggle with their company's travel policies. They might have to check with HR every time they want to arrange a business trip or don't fully understand travel expenses.

Your company culture most likely values transparency, so make your travel policies easier to understand. Outline the corporate travel management process on your company's intranet pages, for example, or print a handbook. You can also introduce employees to your travel policies during the onboarding process. This will clear up confusion, establish accommodation and flight guidelines, and define reimbursement parameters.

The key here is clear communication.

"When creating a corporate travel policy, communicate how the business trip will help achieve company goals," says Business First Family. "Each trip should have clearly defined goals to produce expected outcomes. These goals help offset the cost and time associated with traveling."

3. Invest in a Travel Management System

A corporate travel management system will help you align your travel policies and corporate culture more effectively. HR professionals, managers, and other employees now have the option to use one of these programs to easily book flights and accommodation, select travel dates, apply for reimbursements, and reduce unnecessary travel expenses and fees.

It's likely that your company prides itself on integrity, and incorporating a corporate travel management system like Upside into your business will facilitate this goal. You can maximize travel management --- and save money for your company in the process --- and, if needed, hire additional staff when employees are on their travels. Best of all, it's completely free. There are no hidden fees, membership cost, nothing.

Aligning business travel with your company's culture and values can be difficult, but follow the tips above for better travel management across your organization. Fully understanding your company's corporate strategy, promoting transparency, and leveraging the latest tech like Upside will make life easier for you and other employees.

Here at Upside, we built the first online travel service specifically to meet the needs of businesses and their traveling team members. Use our innovative platform to streamline corporate travel by finding cost-effective and convenient flight, hotel, and rental car options. See what we're all about by visiting Upside.com today.