A happy workforce is a productive one. That’s why more and more organisations are taking account of employee wellbeing in their business travel activities.
Recently, a term that has been trending among procurement professionals is ‘employee wellbeing’. It refers not only to the physical and mental health of your workforce but also to the idea that a happy workforce will be a more productive one and this is nowhere more evident than in the business travel industry.
When it comes to sending your team on the road, there are so many factors to consider, from speed and efficiency to cost effectiveness and reliability. Now we can add employee wellbeing to the list, and arguably it should be up there at the top. Evidence is emerging that the welfare of your team can impact performance and the growth of your entire operation.
Business travel, especially international, can offer exciting opportunities for personal career growth, as well as a chance to experience new cultures, foods, people and environments. On the flip side, frequent international travel can also be highly stressful and physically demanding with the need to adjust to changing climates and time zones. Putting work needs before personal needs is a common habit of many frequent work fliers. Yet, everyone knows that a well-rested employee is better able to give their all and achieve great results.
There are a number of steps that travel managers can take to ensure the health and happiness of the team. Here are some effective strategies for improving the wellbeing of your team and, in turn, benefitting your business.
Integrating Employee Wellbeing
If you’re new to this, here are some tips on how to integrate wellbeing strategies into your business travel policy:
1. Ensure a stress-free ride:
Reliance on multiple transfers and public transportation in an unfamiliar location can lead to lost time through the confusion, lost connections and complex directions. This means that your employee is likely to arrive flustered, delayed and not in the best shape for work.
You need to simplify the logistics, minimize stress and cut down on wait times. Find a provider that can offer both pre-book and on-demand options at home and abroad with a reliable service that can ensure rapid arrival times.
To achieve this you’ll be looking for a provider with a large fleet size, as this will enable it to guarantee availability, so long journeys aren’t made even longer.
2. Go with a service you know
Use brands you trust and have a relationship with. This way you and your employees know you are getting a reliable, secure service, which helps to create a relaxing travel experience.
Choose a provider that prioritizes fleet security, using vetted cars both locally and internationally, so that you can be absolutely certain that your employees are travelling in safety and your ‘duty of care’ obligations are being met.
3. Keep track of your team
Tracking tools can keep you informed of where your employees are, especially when they travel abroad. This allows you to guarantee their safety and make it possible to locate and assist them in case of travel disruptions, caused by political upheaval, extreme weather, or any other kind of emergency.
4. Take your foot off the gas
Add breathing room into the schedule. Just because, hypothetically, your employee could fit all six meetings into one day, spreading the work over two days will allow your team member to arrive to each meeting well, properly recharged, rested and prepared.
In addition, build in flexibility in the schedule gives employees time to see the sights, and decompress, enjoying a new city so they can get back on the job refreshed and reinvigorated.
5. Spread the word
Set travel policies in advance and then make sure they are well advertised. Employees are frequently unaware of their options, particularly with foreign travel.
For example, in an unfamiliar environment, employees may use an unvetted cab service, if they are not aware of partnerships with local providers. Or if they become unwell while abroad, they may be unaware of insurance coverage. This could result in them trying to hold out until they get home with regard to a medical issue that would be better dealt with immediately.
The performance and the personal wellbeing of your employees are tightly interwoven. Being at their best is what allows your team to give their best. To achieve this goal, companies need to ensure a friction-free travel experience for their employees.
To perform at their peak, they need to be able to relax between meetings and at the end of the workday. By partnering with a reliable, pre-approved service your company can meet its duty of care anywhere in the world.
Learn more on how to make your employees’ travel experience healthier, happier and more productive here.