ProcureCon: traveller experience in focus

By Andy Hoskins, published 16/05/2019

The role of travel policy in staff retention and attrition was debated as part of a wider focus on traveller experience on day two of this week’s ProcureCon Travel conference in Las Vegas.

One travel manager, Dart’s Cheryl Benjamin, said traveller experience can be used to woo prospective employees as well as keep them onboard further down the line.

“When we bring in candidates for interview we want to make it as easy as possible for them,” she said. “It’s the little things that from the start show we look after our staff.”

Positive travel experiences are also key to retention, said Benjamin, adding that questions about travel policy are included in staff exit interviews.

Another travel manager, Starbucks’ Raymond Williams, echoed her comments: “We look at travel and staff retention and we speak to HR informally about exit interviews to see if there’s any trends emerging.”

He continued: “It really does matter whether our travellers are happy with the travel policy. I don’t think we’ll ever get to a place of perfection, but that would mean we’d have gone too far the other way – it’s about balance.

“Not many people would leave a company just because of its travel policy, but the road warriors travelling 100 nights a year… any gaps in your travel policy are really going to show up for them.”

Meanwhile, LinkedIn’s Global Travel Manager, Leslie Hadden delivered a case study in creating and delivering surveys to gauge traveller satisfaction.

Conducted annually, her surveys seek traveller feedback on the organisation’s preferred suppliers and TMC – including response times and service – as well as top travel stressors, where indirect flights most recently emerged as the top irritant.

“One of our goals is to reduce stress for our travellers,” she said, adding that she also seeks insights as to travellers’ general happiness, productivity while on the road and healthy living habits.

“Make your pre-trip survey super simple and your post-trip survey more in-depth,” she advised.