Carrots, Sticks, and Travel Costs

June 21, 2018

Business travel overspending can play havoc with your company’s cost containment plans. On one hand, attempting to cut costs by tightening spending limits with restrictive travel policies can prove to be counterproductive. Accepting employee overspending as the price of doing business on the other, can severely impact your bottom line.

UNIGLOBE experts offer insight on an upcoming trend that promises to be an innovative way out of this Catch 22 situation. While the trend is still in its early days … it’s definitely worth a read!

Cutting costs without upsetting employees sounds both attractive and unrealistic. Not anymore! According to UNIGLOBE experts, there’s a new trend emerging in corporate travel management, one that relies on carrots instead of sticks. Rather than punishing those employees who overspend on their trips, choose to reward the ones who save instead.


Aligning Employer and Employee Interests

“Business travelers are nothing if not human. They act out of self-interest, and understandably prioritize their own comfort and convenience when booking a trip. To reduce spending, a rewards-based solution must be grounded in recognition of what employees actually value. In practice, this means giving employees a material incentive to spend less,” says a UNIGLOBE expert.

As per the trend, employees should be given a budget before each one of their trips. If they come under budget, they earn credits to redeem on future travel upgrades. This way they’ll be motivated to save today so they can splurge tomorrow. 

“This system would work well for several reasons. It’s egalitarian, since employees keep a part of what they save for the company. It’s empowering, since it gives travellers the flexibility to consider a wide range of options that fit their budgets. Finally, it’s usefully quantitative, since employees get a clear-cut estimate of what’s reasonable to spend on a given trip. A pre-trip authorization tool such as the UNIGLOBE Complete Access Online could further this cause by automating policy compliance and preventing accidental or deliberate overspends. It can also serve an effective tool to recognize employees who consistently comply with the organization’s travel policy,” adds the expert.


The New Normal for Travel and Expense Management

“Giving employees a compelling reason to consider the cost of their trips leads to more responsible spending. A number of ideas are now being talked about globally and here in India to motivate your employees to save on trips. For instance, offering them gift cards in exchange for flexibility with their flight and hotel choice,” adds the UNIGLOBE expert.

Working with a travel expert like UNIGLOBE can help your business reduce travel. In fact, the greatest opportunity is with progressive companies looking to bring an extra level of cost-savings and spend analytics to their travel management programs.