smart ways to motivate employees to save on travel expensesYour company needs to save on travel expenses, so you can just let employees know it’s time to be frugal, right? Not quite.

When you simply tell employees it’s time to tighten their belts when they travel, it can be met with problems and resistance. First, employees may not know the best steps they can take to accomplish this, but they might also feel like their employer isn’t valuing them. There might not be a lot of motivation for them to take real, effective steps toward reducing their expenses.

You want your employees to feel like you value them, and the key to doing that while still saving on travel is motivation. There are ways you can incentivize employees so that they won’t feel shortchanged, but they’ll still make the necessary steps to cut back on spending while they’re away on business.

Simplify How They Track Spending

A lot of employees are okay with following certain travel guidelines when it comes to spending, but they don’t even know where to start. Make it straightforward and easy for them to manage their expenses, and they’ll appreciate it more than if they’re left trying to gather receipts and fill out cumbersome reports.

Choose an accounts payable automation software that integrates not only easy tracking but all of the rules and best practices they’re expected to follow. The simpler, the more likely employees are to meet expectations.

Give As Much Employee Control As Possible

Where a lot of corporations fail in getting their employees to feel motivated during business travel while still keeping costs low is that they take all control from them.

Instead, companies should set clear, concise parameters, such as the fact that only certain types of airline tickets can be booked, but then leave a lot of the control up to the employee. When employees feel like they’re empowered, such as having a choice of what airline they’ll fly on and what hotel they’ll stay in, they’ll feel better overall and more likely to respect travel parameters.

Go With Rewards Instead of Punishments

Retention of key employees is essential in today’s marketplace, but if employees feel like you’re punishing them for overspending, it’s going to lead to resentment and other employee management problems. Also, they won’t necessarily be motivated to stay within guidelines.

Instead of punishing for overspending, try to reward for saving and being compliant. When that happens, not only are employees likely to stay within the budget, but they’re not going to stretch it to the very upper limit like they might when punishment is the result.

Incentivize your employees to keep them motivated by recognizing their efforts to stay below budget. The reward doesn’t have to be huge to motivate employees. It just has to be something, and even recognition will often work well.

As a final note, the example needs to start at the top. Employees of the corporation need to feel executives and leadership are being held to the same standards as they are on business trips. Anything otherwise is going to make it difficult to keep employees not only motivated but also content.