Employee benefits are critical for finding and retaining top talent. But if your company expects workers to travel on a regular basis, the promise of health insurance coverage and generous time off might not be enough to entice them to come on board. Consider implementing one or more of these employee perks to keep your frequent travelers happy.
Pay employees to save
Business travelers aren’t always sensitive to spending when they’re on the road, and why would they be? Folks who travel for work often have someone else book their flights and charge their expenses to a company account. They can probably go entire trips without seeing an invoice. While convenient for travelers, haphazard spending habits can be a financial burden for companies.
One fun way to save on corporate traveler is by paying your travelers to be frugal! First, start with a budget. Then, have travelers track their expenses so they can see how well they’re sticking to their set dollar amount. If they come in below their budget, incentivize them with a monetary reward. Platforms like Rocketrip can make budgeting, tracking expenses (and savings), and managing rewards a breeze.
Adjust per diem rates by location
Speaking of budgeting, allotting a company-wide per diem rate for business travelers is another standard way to manage expenses. However, fixed daily allowances can be prohibitive when it’s all travelers have to cover three square meals, transportation, and lodging, especially in more expensive cities.
The key is to set realistic per diems. Think about the cost of living where your workers are traveling and make per diem adjustments from there. For example, if you’re sending a sales rep to Omaha one week and New York City the next, tack on extra cash for week two’s per diem. If you need additional guidance on what’s realistic, the U.S. General Service Administration has an excellent lookup system for per diem rates by city.
Offer flexible travel dates
After three straight days of client meetings, it’s not always necessary for travelers to rush back to the office. Why not give your employees the freedom to add an extra day or two to their trip? Mixing business and leisure provides business travelers with the chance to decompress from the “go-go-go” feeling of work and enjoy their surroundings.
Want to go a step further? Actively encourage your employees to relax after a business trip and bring their family along, too. Work-life balance is especially important to Millennial workers, and research shows that even small spikes in employee happiness can bump productivity by more than 20%!
Pay for business class
There are few things more uncomfortable than sitting on an airplane for hours, especially in economy cabins stuffed to the brim. So when your employees are constantly in the air, they’re probably wishing they had a seat in business class.
Between being served meals first (on real plates and with cutlery!), having miles of extra legroom, and getting personalized attention from flight attendants, business class travelers feel spoiled. Upgrading your employees’ airplane tickets to business class is a sure sign you’re grateful for the work they do, which is key for boosting workplace morale and productivity. But the benefits of flying business class don’t stop there. Employees are also more likely to feel well-rested and mentally prepared for the work ahead after long flights.
If it’s not economical to upgrade your employees to business class for every flight, consider implementing a policy guaranteeing upgrades on longer flights (e.g., 4+ hours).
Allow travelers to book using their rewards programs
When a travel manager books flights, hotels, and rental cars for business travelers, they don’t always ask if employees are part of any loyalty programs. From a frequent traveler’s perspective, they probably feel like they’re missing out on tons of reward points!
Allowing travelers to use their own reward programs is a trickier perk for larger companies, but if you’re comfortable letting travelers book travel arrangements themselves, let them! To make this easy, corporate travel management software, like NexTravel, allows employees to take the booking reins in a “controlled” environment. They can make arrangements with pre-approved vendors while still being able to use their travel credit cards and participate in their personal loyalty programs. They’ll thank you big time when they’ve racked up enough points from traveling for work to book their nonstop flight to Hawaii!
Looking for more perks for your business travelers? Check out our corporate rate program and offer your frequent flyers the closest and fastest parking at DIA!