It’s a problem that most organisations suffer from: employees purchasing items that are way out of the company’s Travel & Expense Policy.
One of our customers recently told us of an employee, who had been on a business trip to Europe and whilst away he had purchased luxury accommodation for his dog on his corporate credit card. This particular expense was not within company policy, the employee defended himself by explaining that he didn’t know what the expense policy was.
So how do we get co-workers and employees to comply and engage with policy?
There are 3 steps to getting your employees to comply and engage in your Travel & Expense Policy:
Step 1: Write a Policy that Everyone Can Understand
You’ve got to write an awesome Travel & Expense Policy that is clear, concise, and leaves no room for doubt. More importantly, you’ve got to create a policy that everyone can understand. Here’s an opening statement from one of our customer’s former Travel & Expense Policies:“[…] the company will pay for business and travel expenses incurred in connection with business that is appropriately documented, and is in accordance with ATO per diem calculations. (See Reporting Requirements). In instances where expenses are not appropriately documented, and do not satisfy the outlined requirements below, the employee will, depending on which position he or she holds (See Employee Level), not be reimbursed.”First things first: drop the corporate-speak. Be real and considerate that everyone should be able to understand what you are conveying. If you have a lot of policy exceptions, separate these in the actual policy document.
Step 2: The Policy as a Live Document
The Travel & Expense Policy in most companies suffers from the problem that it gets written and then stored on an internal drive. This document will rarely see the light of day. An effective policy is an iterative document, so you can add or change policy on a regular basis.Also, getting feedback from co-workers and employees is going to be of huge value to you, as they can tell you what needs to change to make it a simple and accessible Travel & Expense Policy; they are after all the ones, who will be using the document the most.
Step 3: Preach It from the Rooftop
Now that you’ve got an awesome Travel & Expense Policy that will be updated regularly, you want to ensure that everyone in the organisation knows about it. The best way to increase compliance is to communicate its existence by involving key employees or managers from different teams. Your team simply can’t be the only ones preaching the policy in the organisation.You’ll need allies from different teams to help you spread the message when the policy has been updated, and also remind employees what type of expenses are outside of the boundaries.By following these 3 simple steps, you should see an increase in policy compliance, which means you will save time on a need to intervene on out of the ordinary expenses.We’re always curious to hear about any great stories that you have about your organisation’s Travel & Expense Policy.
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