Some companies send employees across the world with little more than one week’s notice. Without involving these employees in the organization of the trip, it becomes a major disruption in their lives. By opening a dialogue about an upcoming trip, you can make the experience more enjoyable and productive for everyone.
- Defining trip goals ensures your employees stay on budget and perform expectedly. For example, besides attending events, should the employee carry out his or her regular office duties?
- Planning business travel with your employees can encourage leisure travel. Such opportunities may excite employees and their families. If this discussion comes up, help them plan additional nights at the hotel and their return transportation.
The above benefits explain why involving employees in the planning of business travel is important. The following sections expound how to do so effectively.
Ask Your Employees to Review the Travel Policy
Some companies write formal policies on how employees should conduct themselves on trips. Making this information accessible in an easy-to-digest format (i.e. video or slideshow) can engage your employees and spark discussion over the policy. Although many of its clauses belong for good reason, there may be areas in need of further clarification, expansion or reconsideration.
Give Your Travellers the Choice of Hotel
While your company may enjoy loyalty or corporate program perks at specific hotels, asking your employees their preferences is a courtesy. For example, if one employee enjoys exercise but the normal hotel does not offer a gym, then adjusting locations to fit that lifestyle may help him or her perform. Likewise, if your employees wish to explore the city, hotel location matters. If the usual hotel is by the airport, this makes it difficult to incorporate leisure activities into the trip.
Brief Your Employees in Advance
Even if you do not consult your employees on when, where or how they travel, you should still hold an orientation session for the following:
- Reservation times and requirements (i.e. ID, company credit card, etc.);
- Location information (i.e. popular restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, etc.);
- Medical recommendations (i.e. vaccinations and insurance);
- Emergency procedures in the case of danger, accident or harm;
- Required equipment (i.e. laptop, projector, etc.).