High-performing organizations focus on providing frictionless travel

For a growing number of working professionals, business travel is a part of the job. The travelers’ experience before, during, and after the trip doesn’t simply get packed away with the suitcase and passport. Instead, the sentiment from the travel experience lingers, directly affecting the way the professional feels about the job —and about the company, too.

Traveler friction has a negative impact on employee engagement, productivity, emotional and physical well-being, attrition, and recruitment.  Whether the professional is an infrequent traveler or a road warrior, high-performing organizations all have one thing in common: They prioritize positive traveler journeys.

Rather than focusing on what a travel program costs in terms of dollars, these organizations analyze the total cost of travel in terms of traveler well-being and transaction costs.  And the organizations that provide a more frictionless business-travel experiences are positioned to win by being more likely to benefit from an engaged workforce, higher retention rates, and positive business outcomes.

Travel effects job satisfaction

According to a recent study on traveler friction conducted by Sabre, in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 40 percent of travelers say business travel impacts business results to a great extent, while 32 percent say business travel impacts job satisfaction to a great extent.

GBTA found that job satisfaction is influenced by the organization’s travel policy, booking and reservation process, safety and security policies and initiatives, employee well-being policies for travel, expense reporting process, and even the pre-trip approval process.  From end to end, the traveler journeys that are the most frictionless are often perceived as the best experiences.

This holds true for business travelers of all generations. Whether the traveler is a millennial, baby boomer, or a part of Generation X, the journey experience is an important driver of job satisfaction.

Refocusing the travel program

Until recently, most organizations focused on travel program costs, looking for money-saving measures to boost the bottom line. Today, organizations have found that the lowest cost isn’t always the best, and shifting to a traveler-centric program may be the key to longer-term savings, particularly when incurred costs, employee sentiment, and new talent hiring and training are considered. Today, the cost of hiring a new employee is 15 percent to 30 percent of an annual salary. That cost can jump to 300 percent if the company must replace a senior-level employee (source:  Center for American Progress).

Travel management programs that prioritize frictionless travel with self-service tools, personalized offerings, and engaging content to provide convenience, comfort, safety, and helpful information are the ones that drive true value for the organization. By realizing the direct connection between traveler stress (burnout and low morale) and attrition and talent acquisition costs, the value of a traveler-centric program becomes clearer.

Download Sabre’s Insights Deck, “Creating Frictionless Travel, for more information on frictionless travel across the globe.