As a finance manager or CFO, it’s your responsibility to develop a corporate travel culture for your organisation. However, finding the balance between saving company resources and providing employees with a corporate travel culture that they enjoy can be tricky at best.
With a properly-defined corporate travel culture, you can leave these worries behind. We’ll walk you through what corporate travel culture is and why it’s important for your organisation.
Defining a Corporate Travel Culture
An organisation’s corporate travel culture should be specifically tailored to their employees' needs, so they vary widely from one company to another.
For some organisations, corporate travel culture may be all about business and nothing else. This means that travel is limited to business meetings, conventions, and other work-related activities.
Other organisations, on the other hand, see travel as an opportunity to build relationships and foster teamwork. In this case, corporate travel may involve team-building activities, social events, and other bonding experiences.
When it comes to finding a balance between work and play in corporate travel culture, it’s important to align your decision with your company's overall values and goals. What’re you trying to achieve or develop through corporate travel, anyways? Keeping this answer in mind will help you define a culture that suits your organisation.
The Different Types of Culture
Every company has its own corporate culture that defines what it’s like to work in your organisation. While this isn’t typically written down, it’s felt in every aspect of the company. Is the whole team very business-focused, or does the CEO prioritize team bonding and celebrations? Is your office quiet or chatty?
When creating a corporate travel culture, keeping your organisation’s core culture in mind is a must. If they don’t align, you’ll be speaking a different language than everyone else in the room.
If you’re struggling to identify the culture of your organisation, here are some common types of corporate culture that you may recognize amongst your colleagues:
- Innovative Culture: Innovative organisations often encourage employees to work together as a team to challenge the status quo and provide the world with a new experience.
- Hierarchical Culture: This type of corporate culture values order and stability. These businesses are typically quite productivity-minded, though higher-ranking employees may enjoy some flexibility and leisure on the job.
- Clan Culture: This is a culture where all employees are equals; rank-and-file employees are just as important as upper management in these companies. Any benefits given to high-ranking employees will also be enjoyed by entry-level workers here.
- Customer-focused culture: Customer-focused companies tend to provide workers with access to plenty of tools and resources so they can provide the best customer service possible.
Anything here sound familiar? It’s completely possible that your workplace is a blend of two or more of the above, but whatever your corporate culture is, you should understand every aspect of it. If you’re still struggling, try asking entry-level employees and high-ranking employees for their perspectives on the company’s culture to get a baseline assessment to build from.
By fully understanding the values and beliefs of your organisation, you’ll be able to stay in line with its values; this will give you a strong foundation to build a corporate travel culture that employees will want to be a part of.
How to Develop a Corporate Travel Culture
When it comes to corporate travel, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. As a finance manager or CFO, you should be able to determine what approach will suit your unique company the best. But how do you begin?
Well, the first thing you need to do is create a clear policy on who is eligible for corporate travel and under what circumstances. Keep your company’s approach to hierarchies in mind when making this decision.
Aside from that, it should also detail the company's expectations around expenses and maintaining itineraries. Make sure that all employees are aware of and understand the rules and guidelines stipulated in the policy you created, including the repercussions they can face if they don’t comply with them.
If possible, give employees access to a corporate travel portal for booking and managing their business trips. This simplifies things for them and for management, as it logs all of the relevant information in one easy-to-access space.
The Benefits of Developing a Corporate Travel Culture
Developing a corporate travel culture benefits your organisation as a whole. This is why many finance managers and CFOs are now looking for efficient ways to develop a strong corporate travel culture for their respective organisations.
Here are some things that a clear corporate travel culture can do for your company:
Promote Creativity and Innovation
By exposing employees to new experiences and ideas, you give them the opportunity to relax and recharge. This will not just improve their productivity, but also allow them to come up with more creative solutions to business problems.
Improve Team Bonding and Morale
Sharing new experiences with other employees can help team members feel more connected to their colleagues. This can lead to improved communication and collaboration once they return to normal work.
Boost Your Company's Success
When employees are happy and productive, it has a positive impact on your company's bottom line. So, if you're looking for ways to improve your business, developing a corporate travel culture could be a good place to start.
The Challenges of Developing a Corporate Travel Culture
While many companies encourage employees to travel for business, some may be reluctant to do so. This makes it difficult for finance managers and CFOs to develop a corporate travel culture that the organisation and employees will both be happy about.
Some companies think that corporate travel is an unnecessary waste of company resources. That’s why you must present the potential benefits of this to the company. On top of that, you will also need to present your ideas for maximising the benefits of corporate travel while minimising costs. One way you can do that is by negotiating with hotels and airlines to give you corporate discounts.
Another challenge is encouraging employees to travel for work. Many will be reluctant to participate if they believe it to be disruptive to their work/life balance; you can try to encourage them by explaining why it’s needed and how they can benefit from it.
Corporate travel culture can be a make-or-break factor in whether a business trip is successful. It's important to get it right so that employees feel comfortable and supported while away from the office.
When implemented correctly, you can leverage corporate travel as a powerful tool for your organisation. This makes employees feel valued and appreciated while also expanding your reach as a company — that’s a win-win in our eyes.