Here are our top tips to help you use this time to come out stronger.
1. Check Your Costs
Finding areas for cost-savings is more important than ever. Before ramping up your travel program again, use this time to identify what areas could be cut back or cut out. Are people taking single day trips that should be a virtual meeting or travelling when and where they shouldn’t be? Gathering as much data as you can to guide you is key; make sure your Travel Management Company has the capabilities and flexibility to provide you with the dashboards you need to make informed decisions.
Now is also a good time to leverage your Travel Management Company relationships and lock in better-than-market terms with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies to drive future savings. So, when you’re ready to start planning ahead, make sure to ask your Account Manager about any cost-saving opportunities.
2. Review Your Policies
When was the last time you reviewed the way your company travels under the spotlight of duty of care? If the answer is “not recently”, now is the time. Duty of care and traveller wellbeing have never been more critical. Whether your policies need a refresh or you need to implement your first travel policy, use this lull in travel to assess what is and isn’t working in your current program.
If you’re not sure where to start with travel risk management or if you need guidance regarding what your duty of care policy should cover, this resource is a good place to start.
3. Double Check Your Tech
From security updates to knowing your travellers’ locations, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of having access to robust travel technology. With most business travel currently paused, use this time to review the technology your business uses now, and assess where any gaps are.
Your business travel tools are only useful when your team is using them correctly and consistently. Prepare for future events by making sure you and your team have a solid understanding of your tech. For example, encourage all staff to and practice checking security updates and traveller whereabouts.
4. Stay in Touch
The uncertainty around COVID-19 is naturally unsettling and has highlighted the importance of having good real-time methods to communicate with all employees, especially those travelling. Keeping the lines of communication open with your employees and travellers also sends a clear message that you take their health – and that of your clients – very seriously.
Use this time to update your communications strategy, including the tools you use to communicate with your people and the frequency of updates. Ensure your staff know who they should contact in an emergency. Flight Centre Business Travel offers 24/7 traveller support to keep your employees safe, wherever they go.
Now is also a great time to clean up your traveller’s contact information and ensure that it’s accurate. Ask all your travellers to update their traveller information with your business travel manager, including their emergency contact information.
5. Assemble Your A-Team
Responsibility for managing risk shouldn’t fall on a single person – a robust risk management team should include individuals from across the business. During the COVID-19 crisis, we have found that customers with the most effective responses formed their crisis team early and made informed decisions on how to mitigate their risk.
To future-proof your travel program and make sure you can respond fast and effectively to a crisis, use the time now to decide who should form your crisis management team, and assign clear roles and responsibilities.
6. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
In times of crisis, having a partner backed by people who genuinely care about the wellbeing of your travellers can really pay in dividends. Whether you’re struggling to access your traveller data to evaluate costs or are looking for guidance on updating your travel risk policy, call on the in-depth industry knowledge of our FCBT travel managers.
Our experts have the resources and expertise to advise on travel policy changes, traveller risk management and the latest country travel restrictions, along with advanced technology to communicate quickly and efficiently with travellers as the COVID-19 situation evolves.