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​People First: Can you get more value from your travel spend by putting employees first?

November 15, 2019


By Emma Woodhouse
Global Corporate Communications, CWT

The Japan office of a global technology company recently tested a four-day working week and found it led to happier workers and a big jump in productivity of 40 percent. They’re not the first company to trial new ways to retain a largely-Millennial workforce, who identify flexibility and well-being as top priorities when job hunting.

A move away from seeing return-on-investment from a savings and compliance perspective, to understanding the value that employees bring, is emerging more often. Savvy companies are putting their employees' well-being at the core of their travel program.

“Maintaining healthy habits while traveling is nearing the top of the priority list for travelers around the world,” says Niklas Andreen, CWT’s Chief Traveler Experience Officer. “Being in tune with what matters to your employees is indispensable for retaining and attracting the best talent.”

So how do you make your travel program work for your staff and therefore your business?

  1. Different folks, different strokes – Your workforce will have differing needs from their business travel. Some want their pick of hotel rooms worthy of featuring on their Instagram grid. Others have small children at home and are attracted to family-friendly options like same-day trips. It isn’t about offering luxuries but truly understanding what individuals value and giving them personally-relevant choices.

  2. Always Connected - “There is a generation of people that are always connected” says Niklas Andreen, “It raises people’s stress levels not being able to connect. It has become a comfort factor. The tempo of business has sped up so much that people will send an email and expect a response within 30 minutes.” It’s critical to consider whether transport options, lounges and hotel rooms are equipped with strong connectivity. 

  3. Tool up - Providing your employees with modern tools like a mobile app makes it easy and even enjoyable during the booking process. If you want your employees to stick to your policy,  the tools and services you provide must be on par to what they use in their everyday lives.   

It’s natural to want business travelers to stay within policy but some of the limitations compromise the success of their trip. Looking at ways to build your travel program around their needs will benefit your company. After all, what's better for your people is what's best for your business. Find more ways to build a travel program equipped for the future in the 2020 Global Travel Forecast.


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