Faced with a global skills shortage, employers increasingly need to come up with new and innovative ways of attracting – and retaining – top talent.
Even once a company has found the talent it is looking for, there’s no guarantee skilled employees stay with the company. Average job tenure is just three years four months, and for 25-35s this reduces significantly, standing at two years and eight months. For under 25s, average job tenure is just one year eight months.
Short tenures can put considerable financial strain on a company’s bottom line. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, finding and training new employees costs the equivalent of six to nine months of their salary. That means a company will incur a cost of between R240 000 and R360 000 for an employee who makes R480 000 a year.
How can employers hire and retain top talent in this skills shortage world? A study by PageGroup shows that 78 per cent of candidates would be more likely to apply for a job if the advert mentioned the perks and benefits the company offers its employees.
In a millennial-dominated workforce, employees look for companies where work pressure doesn’t affect their personal life. A compelling business travel programme can play a crucial part in achieving the right work-life balance for employees and offering them the perks and benefits they crave.
Andrew Grunewald, Brand Leader, Flight Centre Business Travel, explains young up-and-coming talent often insist on a company travel policy that prioritises their wellbeing above the company’s bottom line. In fact, travel policies have become so important, that according to the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, 36% of hiring managers report that candidates are asking to see the company’s travel policy during the interview process.
Travel experts like the consultants at Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) are stepping up to meet the lifestyle needs of the modern workplace and are reviewing company travel policies to ensure the company attracts top talent.
Grunewald shares some tips for companies that want to ensure their travel policy strikes the right note with future employees:
Impress your travellers with added perks
Being cost conscious with hotel choices doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from additional value-adds. Most business travellers will know the anguish of arriving in the early morning after a long overnight flight only to find that they can only check-in to their hotel room at 3pm.
With hotel programmes, such as FCBT’s SmartSTAY programme, companies can address these pains by including additional perks to make their travellers’ stay more comfortable. These perks include items such as free breakfast, early check-in and late check outs, which can go a long way towards making travellers more productive when on the road.
Allow your road warriors to take a leisure break
According to MMGY Global, 81% of millennials associate business travel with higher job satisfaction. As a result, the demographic was found to take more business trips than any other generation — 7.7 per year on average.
To continue making their business travel experience a pleasant one, it’s important for companies offer travellers the possibility to extend their corporate trips for a few days to explore the destination for their own personal enrichment. Employees could extend their stay, or take their family and add on a few days. Make sure the TMC you partner with has great bleisure options.
Ensure your travellers enjoy loyalty rewards from their travels
By including loyalty programmes and preferred airlines in a company’s travel policy, travellers can enjoy added benefits, such as free upgrades, lounge access and fast check-ins while accruing points towards free flights. Some airlines also have business loyalty programmes that not only benefit the employee, but the company as well.
As with airline rewards programmes, many large hotel chains also have loyalty programmes that allow subscribers to collect points for each booking. Points may be exchanged for discounts and even free nights. Marriott’s loyalty programme allows travellers to exchange points for retail gift vouchers and free hotel nights across the Marriott brands, as well as premium experiences such as concert tickets and sporting events. They also have a rewards programme for MICE businesses.
Hilton Honors members receive discounts, digital check-in services, free Wi-Fi and any points accumulated can be used to pay for rooms, book car hire or rail tickets, or can even be donated to charity. IHG’s loyalty scheme has different tiers with rewards from automatic room upgrades, fast check-in, executive lounge access and free drinks and canapés.
Show that you invest in the employee
In recent years, duty of care has become more prevalent in travel policy – a positive development for both companies and travellers. During their travels, employees may encounter some adverse conditions that could include everything from minor inconvenience such as cancelled flights to more serious health, safety and security concerns. This is where Duty of Care becomes vital for companies of any size. Simply put, a comprehensive Duty of Care plan will make sure your company has the right procedures in place and that it is possible to react effectively if something unfortunate happens in a destination country. TMCs can assist companies in knowing where your people are at all times.
Having a travel policy in place provides boundaries and ensures staff members’ wellbeing while on the road, concludes Grunewald. ““The travel experience of staff is important when you’re putting together a sound travel policy. Looking after key staff members is critical to the success of any company.”