Keeping your travellers informed
Keeping your travellers informed
Building a communication strategy around corporate travel has traditionally been used as a way of boosting engagement and improving compliance with travel policies. However, like many things this year, this too has changed and organisations are now needing to communicate with their travellers to ensure they are safe and secure, as well as feeling confident about any upcoming trips.
It’s likely that many of your organisation’s travellers have fallen out of the routine of travelling, however there might be a select few who have started to travel again. Now more so than ever before, it’s important that these travellers feel informed, supported and reassured and are equipped with the necessary information before, during and after their trip.
It’s also paramount that your travellers fully understand the changes you and your organisation have made in regards to corporate travel due to the pandemic, as this will ensure they will be travelling in a safe and compliant manner.
In preparation for this, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you have communicated with your entire travelling community in the past and to review it critically - is this robust enough for the future?
When beginning to test out new ways of communicating with your travellers, why not start with those who have already started travelling again, or those who are expected to be the first to start travelling again? Ever-changing travel updates and global restrictions means that all travellers are dealing with what can be an overwhelming amount of information right now, so it’s important not to bombard individuals who rarely travel or are not expecting to travel for some time with ‘irrelevant’ information.
Even if restarting travel is a long way off for your organisation, we would recommend staying one step ahead and preparing for when you will need to provide answers.
General communication with your travellers
Your organisation’s corporate travellers, whether they are travelling right now or in the near future, will have questions. If you have yet to create one then now is a good time to establish a FAQs document which collates your travellers most burning travel queries. Ensure your answers are clear, simple and to the point.
Whilst this is a great first step, ensure the communication channel is two way and you are not just broadcasting messages. A virtual travel clinic or drop in session could be a good way to manage this, as you will hear first-hand from your most frequent travellers and those who have already started to travel.
Start by setting out the responsibilities of both the traveller and you as the employer in regard to travel, as this will ensure both of you are starting from a position of confidence. Once this is established, emphasise the importance of booking the trip through approved routes. Failure of your travellers to do so will make locating them more difficult should emergencies arise. Also confirm the steps your travellers need to take before their trip - for some organisations that may include a pre-trip interview.
To enable communication with travellers in a timely manner, travellers will need to ensure their profile information is up-to-date, so any communications are received efficiently. Whilst this may sound obvious and be something your organisation has been doing for years, the coronavirus pandemic has placed higher importance on being able to communicate with those on the move and the preparations needed in the lead up to the trip.
Ensure your travellers also have access to your TMC’s contact information and know the best method to contact them whilst travelling. Your TMC can also assist by notifying the traveller of any pre-trip paperwork or tests that must be completed before travel.
Communicating with your traveller whilst they are on the move
Without the assistance of the right technology communicating with your travellers whilst they are on the move is extremely difficult. Specialist tools such as traveller tracking tools which enable two way communication, may have been an item on your wish list prior to the coronavirus pandemic, however with an increasing focus on the safety and security of your travellers, now is the time for them to become a reality.
Once implemented it’s important to highlight to your travellers how essential it is for them to respond to safety and check-in messages - without their support the communication can easily become one sided and can cause unnecessary anxiety.
A post-trip follow up
After a trip has taken place, it’s important to give employees the opportunity to provide feedback on how they feel the trip went – particularly in terms of their safety, security and wellbeing. Whilst you are likely to have fewer employees travelling this could be in the format of a post-trip interview and when travel begins to increase a survey or feedback form.
This will enable you to feel reassured that your people have all they need to travel for business and if there are any gaps in information or concerns these can be addressed early.
Wondering where else should you be focusing your time and effort?
Find out here.