How to Diversify Your Travel Program
We talk a lot about upgrading your travel policy, but there isn’t a lot of information out there about diversifying your travel program to support your team. COVID-19 shone a spotlight on the necessity of changing outdated programs in businesses to create safer workplaces for your staff.
If you haven’t already brought a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager onto your team, this is a great place to start. Having a team member who is dedicated to ensuring an inclusive, safe, supportive environment is one of the greatest investments you can make. It’s important to collaborate with them when revamping your travel policy, to set your team up for success.
Starting from scratch can be daunting, but our SME Corporate Travel Toolkit series is a great resource to help you get started.
A policy fit for 2023 and beyond
It’s possible that in your existing travel policy, the unique needs of your travelling team haven’t been considered. As we embrace a post-COVID world, travellers are taking a greater interest in their physical and mental health, and businesses have an opportunity to be proactive and support these needs. Not only that, when sending your team out into the world, their safety should be of top priority as you prepare for business travel in 2022:
While this is, by no means, an extensive list, extra consideration should be made for people who are at higher risk of discrimination while travelling as well as people with accessibility needs including:
- Travellers who are People of Colour
- Women travellers
- Travellers who are pregnant
- Travellers with varying mobility needs
- Travellers with sight or hearing impairment
- Travellers with a chronic illness
- Travellers with an invisible disability
- Travellers who are transgender and/or non-binary
- Travellers who observe salat or other faith practices
- Multilingual travellers whose first language isn’t English
Through clear communication, you’ll gain an understanding of the unique needs of your team members both at home and on the road.
Inclusive thinking encourages new foundations
You’ll want to start by consulting your HR team, IT team, DEI manager, as well as a survey of your team. Get down to the nitty gritty and dig into common concerns, gaps in information, and areas where improvements are needed. Discover what is working in your current travel policy, as well as what isn’t, and listen. Really listen.
Once you have a clear understanding, you can then begin building. There are loads of ways that having a managed travel program benefits your business. Our travel experts can help you outline traveller preferences, traveller requirements, business requirements, budgeting information, how much flexibility you can allow, and ensure that your people are visiting destinations that are safe. A transparent, inclusive travel policy means your team has clarity, flexibility, and information when they need it.
Learn more about building a people-first travel policy
Check in and be flexible
Diversifying your travel policy is not a one-and-done action. Check in with your business travellers regularly and offer a safe space for them to provide their feedback. When we listen to our people, their needs and their concerns, and put them into action, we are able to offer supportive systems and allow people to do their best work.
It’s also important to make sure you’re checking in on the destinations you visit. Communicate with your travel manager for updated information on a particular country’s laws or customs, political situations, or travel advisories, to ensure safety for whomever is matched to that trip. Again, that’s just one of the benefits of working with a TMC like Corporate Traveller…your travellers feel the TLC.
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