- Proactively review your trip approval process: There are tools available that trigger automatic leader approvals before a ticket is issued – this could be based on destination, employee seniority, and reason for travel. Talk to your provider about configuring your online booking tool (OBT) to support these tighter approval processes. For example, block or restrict travel to designated destinations, or direct users to call a travel counselor when further approval is needed.
- Work with your travel management company (TMC) to regularly review and update approval settings to reflect travel restrictions or entry bans, high-risk destinations, and other travel developments related to COVID-19 as the situation progresses over the coming weeks and months.
- Review your travel policy: Is it a living document? It should be agile enough to implement quick-response policy changes as the situation evolves. However, policy changes are only effective if travelers are aware of them – how are these changes being communicated to employees? Work with your HR, security, legal/compliance, and internal comms teams on employee engagement and education.
- When business trips and meetings are postponed or canceled, providing timely and accurate information to travelers and event attendees is crucial. Work with your TMC on effective proactive traveler communications across all available channels, including mobile app notifications, SMS platforms, live webchat, phone, and email.
- If something unexpected changes while an employee is on a trip, make sure your TMC’s travel counselors can communicate with travelers via the appropriate channels, such as in-app mobile messaging. There are duty of care tools and services that help travel managers track their travelers, which include using recent card-swipe data and GPS information to supplement itinerary data to ensure you can reach your travelers when necessary.
- Your TMC should be able to align traveler profile information with data from airlines, hotels, ground transport providers, and security specialists so informed decisions can be made to manage disruption in real time.
- Review your travel policy compliance performance: Guidelines and restrictions are only effective if travelers are booking within policy and corporate channels. Visibility is key: Work with HR, risk and compliance teams, and your TMC to communicate how crucial compliance is for travelers’ own safety.
- Review the change/cancellation terms and conditions in your supplier agreements. This will give visibility to the budgetary impact of changing travel plans or postponing events – and will flag up any T&C points to consider in upcoming supplier negotiations.
- Are you making travel policy decisions based on credible, reliable sources? Monitor national government travel advisories, health bodies, daily updates from the WHO, and global risk management specialists, such as our partner WorldAware.
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