‘Leakage’ refers to the occasions when business travellers ignore their company’s travel policy and/or preferred hotels list and make their own independent arrangements for transport and accommodation.
This causes a range of problems for businesses, from reducing their bargaining power with preferred suppliers to making it harder to locate and support employees in the event of an emergency.
If leakage is a concern for your business the problem could be down to a simple failure of communication: the employees haven’t understood the problem or may even think they are doing you a favour! The answer, in turn, involves having clearer communications that emphasise the WHY as much as the WHAT, WHEN and HOW.
Explain WHY you have these policies
Employees clearly have their reasons for going ‘off piste’. They may have a loyalty card for a particular hotel chain or airline and want to earn reward points, for example. So make it clear that your policies are in place to protect standards, safeguard employees and achieve value from your travel budget – and that employees who do not follow the rules you have in place jeopardise your ability to do all three.
Emphasise the SUPPORT you have in place
Companies have a duty of care to their employees and if travellers make their own arrangements they will be harder to locate and support in the event of an emergency. Therefore be very upfront about the processes and resources you have in place to protect your employees in times of trouble, and how your preferred hotels and transport providers fit into this.
Promote the SAVINGS you are achieving
Corporate travel policies include special prices and terms that have been arranged with particular suppliers (eg airlines and hotel chain) for an agreed volume of business. If employees choose not to use the company’s preferred suppliers they reduce their employer’s bargaining power, costing them more money when the contracts are reviewed.While employees may be able to find what appear to be cheaper fares or rates these will usually be non-changeable, non-refundable amounts that need to be paid up front. As business travel bookings are often subject to change the cheapest tickets are not the most suitable options, and employees who think they are saving their employers’ money could cost them more in the long run. Therefore make it clear in communications that you have secured extra benefits at a corporate level thanks to your greater purchasing power. What may not seem like the most cost-effective ticket at an individual level is a small part of the bigger picture!
If you would like advice on preventing leakage ask your Inntel Account manager