Employee wellbeing may boost policy compliance: research

Only half of travel programs in North America collect traveller feedback when reviewing travel policy

July 14, 2017
Purchasing B2B

Alexandria, VA—Many companies have both high traveller satisfaction and high program compliance, according to a new study released today by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association. Additionally, 76 percent of Latin American-based travel managers and 74 percent of North American-based travel managers indicate traveller well-being has a lot of weight on their final decisions when considering specific components of their travel policy.

The study, Balancing Traveler Satisfaction and Well-Being with Program Compliance, conducted with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation explores how well-being and traveller satisfaction can impact policy compliance. Of the North American and Latin American travel managers surveyed who report over 90 percent compliance with air bookings, 93 percent and 79 percent, respectively, say a majority of their travellers are satisfied with their travel program. High levels of satisfaction with hotel programs over 70 percent compliant were also reported. While not significantly higher than satisfaction in programs experiencing lower levels of compliance, this suggests that traveller well-being and satisfaction efforts may not undermine compliance—and in fact, may even improve it.

“Travel managers must balance traveller well-being and satisfaction along with many competing priorities from cost-savings and compliance to duty of care and keeping up with the latest technology,” said Monica Sanchez, GBTA Foundation director of research. “Business traveller wellbeing efforts can take on a variety of forms focusing on efficiency, comfort, choice and service. Collecting traveller feedback can inform travel programs what areas to pay the most attention to, and this study indicates that traveller wellbeing and policy compliance do not have to come at the expense of the other.”

While many companies review their travel policies regularly, only half (51 percent) of travel programs in North America and two out of five (38 percent) in Latin America collect traveller feedback when reviewing their travel policy. Programs not collecting feedback may find it worthwhile to do so as such feedback usually has a moderate or high influence on adjustments companies ultimately make to their travel policy. Additionally, traveller satisfaction frequently improves when companies make policy adjustments based on feedback.

A majority of travel programs measure traveller satisfaction regularly and not only are most business travellers satisfied with their company’s overall travel program, business travellers are more satisfied with their programs today compared to two or three years ago, according to a majority of the travel managers surveyed. When measuring satisfaction, companies focus most commonly on customer service/support from TMCs, online booking tools, the booking process and company-preferred hotels. Travel programs can make a greater effort to measure satisfaction with their internal policies and processes as these are the areas companies can most easily adjust based on feedback.