Creating a Hotel Accommodation Policy
A well-constructed, well-mandated hotel accommodation policy is crucial in ensuring your hotel costs are kept to a sensible minimum.
However, putting limits in place that are too harsh will see employees rebelling and, likewise, by being too lenient your policy won't be worth the paper it's written on.
So, how should you go about ensuring that you have a hotel accommodation policy that works both for the business, in keeping costs down, whilst being seen by travellers as a valuable document and not a needless annoyance? Here is our step-by-step guide...
Step 1: Policy Review
Firstly, your hotel booking agency should review any existing hotel accommodation policy against their own benchmarks and industry best practice. Are limits and allowable spends too high, too low or just about right given market conditions? What are benchmark allowances for meals and other extras? They should also review levels of mandation - is the policy in place simply as a guide for travellers or should it be strictly adhered to? Do you have a preferred hotel programme? Again, are travellers required to utilise your preferred hotel chains to drive negotiation power or are they free to make decisions based on personal preference?
Step 2: Development
Once your hotel booking agent has reviewed your existing policy they should propose areas where your policy could be enhanced.
Should you decide to implement some or all of their recommendations, we would, in any case, suggest forming a small, internal, focus group to review and fine tune your hotel accommodation policy. This group should not only involve purchasing/finance but also travel bookers and travellers themselves so they feel that they have been part of the policy creation - vital to galvanise support and adoption.
We would also recommend a member of your management team actively endorses any policy changes to reinforce the importance and value to the business.
Your hotel booking agency should also be able to operate multiple policies for different levels of staff, if required.
Step 3: Communication
Once the policy has been formulated and agreed, it is important that it is clearly communicated to all impacted employees within your business.
Your specific hotel accommodation policy should be built into your hotel booking agency's systems to ensure travel policy compliance.
Step 4: Review
Your travel policy should be viewed as an ever evolving document. The cost of travel is largely affected by external factors such as exchange rates, demand, seasonal fluctuations, taxation etc. Your hotel booking agency should, therefore, constantly review your policy to ensure it remains fit for purpose and is in line with industry best practice. Whilst, at the same time, achieves your travel procurement goals.
If you feel that your business will benefit from formulating a hotel accommodation policy or a review of your existing policy then we can help.