As business travel continues its steady return and recovery around the world, what does the landscape look like now for both companies and their employee travelers? A new research report—The Dawn of the Employee-Centric Travel Program—released by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Deem, a mobile-first corporate travel management software provider, explores the current state and role of the employee experience when it comes to managed corporate travel.
“A successful travel program enables employees to achieve business outcomes while helping to ensure traveler safety and limiting cost. Technology can empower travel managers to deliver a better employee travel experience and include details such as sustainability, accessibility, and personalization,” said Deem President David Grace.
The new report is based on two surveys—one of US business travelers and another of US travel managers—across key dimensions including travel program priorities, traveler perks, travel program metrics, and traveler accessibility accommodations.
“Business travelers are returning and there are significant opportunities for the employee travel experience to be a larger focus of the corporate travel management agenda. While many travel programs understandably prioritize cost savings and policy compliance, they can only achieve these goals if employees understand and buy into them,” said GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang.
Highlights of the report:
- Employee satisfaction remains a pain point in many corporate travel programs. More than one-quarter (28 percent) say traveler experience/satisfaction is the single greatest pain point of their corporate travel program. Only 13 percent of travel managers say traveler experience/satisfaction is the single greatest strength.
- Weighing cost savings and employee satisfaction. Two in five business travelers (41 percent) say their company’s travel program prioritizes cost savings over employee satisfaction while 38 percent say the program balances both equally. One in five (21 percent) say their company’s travel program prioritizes employee satisfaction over cost savings.
- Ready to get back on the road. A majority of business travelers are ready to return to their pre-pandemic business travel frequency. Eighty-one percent would prefer to travel for work the same amount as they did pre-pandemic (46 percent) or more often (35 percent).
- Room for improvement in travel technology. When it comes to their travel program, 38 percent of business travelers say they are the least satisfied with their company’s travel technology. This is higher than the share who indicate their company’s corporate travel agency (33 percent) or their company’s corporate travel manager/team (20 percent).
People and planet considerations are also becoming part of the corporate travel program agenda for both employee travelers and travel managers.
GBTA members can download the complete research report from the GBTA Hub. The report can also be downloaded from the Deem website.
Visit gbta.org for more information.