When it comes to business travel, the typical role of human resources has been relegated to publishing the company reimbursement policy in the employee handbook and occasionally cleaning up ‘closed-door’ messes brought back from the road. These is an old-school model, rooted in a time of secretary booked travel and pay telephones, that limited HR’s ability to care for employees on business trips.
However, given the evolution of technology in the world of business travel, it pays for HR professionals to ask more of their travel programs. Through a managed travel plan, HR can extend the duty-of-care that it has for employees beyond the office. Real-time tracking of ticket check-in (booked through a travel management system) enables the company to know where employees are between destinations. Top tier travel management companies (TMC) will even proactively inform companies when their employees’ encounter a travel related incidents, ensuring the company knows where its employees are.
Modern travel management program also enables HR to set policies for hotel, car and air booking that support minimum standards of safety, while also aligning with work culture expectations. Policies can be set to the specific hotel chain and location, if needed, to ensure that employees are traveling in safe, controllable, environments.
Finally, TMCs give HR a greater voice at the policy-level with access to travel usage/cost reports at the traveler level. No longer can an individual’s out-of-compliance booking be hid in an expense report or departmental rollup.
At a time when controlling workforce costs while driving productivity are the primary justifications behind adopting any new technology. It’s a true evolution to see a technology that can also extend the primary charter of HR; to care for a workforce.
Egencia will be attending Human Resource Executives, HR Technology Show in Las Vegas, October 19th – 20th, booth 1758