July 17, 2024

Amex GBT report recommends new travel mindset

Travel is essential for cultivating winning cultures and achieving business goals in the post-pandemic era, according to a report by American Express GBT and cultural analysis firm CULTIQUE.

The white paper recommends that corporate leaders should adopt a Chief Journey Officer mindset as their businesses enter a new era of work and travel. 

It says a Chief Journey Officer can reframe how a company views travel so it is no longer regarded a commodity but instead an investment in long-term prosperity and culture.

The report explores how the rise of hybrid and dispersed workforces has left companies grappling with how to generate company culture and keep teams connected, leading travel to emerge as the core way through which internal relationships and culture are built.

It says thriving company culture “isn’t built over 52 weeks of video calls” but instead comes from bringing people together in person “to drive mission, vision, and strategy collaboratively”. 

David Reimer, EVP, Global Clients and General Manager American Express GBT, said: “Companies are working to solve the challenge of building company culture and tackling the feeling of isolation within their dispersed workforces. Culture isn’t built in isolation. It’s driven by the ability for teams to interact and get connected to an organisation’s purpose and vision.

“By elevating the role of travel in strategy and decision-making, and revisiting travel policies designed to support pre-pandemic operating models, organisations can use travel as a catalyst for progress.”

Sarah Unger, Partner and co-Founder, CULTIQUE, said: “Thinking like a Chief Journey Officer underscores the integral role travel should play in a distributed workforce. It’s a powerful way to differentiate. To better relate to new employee desires and societal expectations, companies need to shift their business travel mindset from automated to intentional.”

The white paper also explores how getting clear on how, where and why a company is investing in travel can help showcase its values and bring it closer to its employees and customers. 

Mark Cuschieri, Global Head of Travel UBS, said: “These days, we are more conscious about what we do and how we do it. It’s our responsibility to provide the right information at the right time in order to make more informed choices – choices that are better in terms of sustainability will be key. 

“We are already seeing that sustainability will be an essential component of our program. It will drive a change in mindset as to the purpose and reasons for why we need to travel. The ROI conversation about travel will be different. We need to work out how culture will figure in the future ROI conversation.”