There's a new generation entering the workforce and they bring with them an unprecedented set of needs and expectations when it comes to business travel.
Labeled "Millennials," "Generation Y," and sometimes "Generation Y-Not?" for their proclivity to question everything, this tech-savvy generation will account for nearly 50 percent of spending on business flights by the year 2020 (according to BCG research). Given that this age group demonstrates the lowest travel program compliance of any in the workforce (check out the table), there’s no time like the present to start taking action in your corporate travel program.
Concur recently hosted a webinar with industry travel experts, who shared their ideas for adjusting to this generation's business travel behavior. Here are the top tips shared during the webinar to get Gen Y travelers on the compliance bandwagon:
1. Be Brief, Be Informative, Be Clever
Millennials rely heavily on information, so reinforcing the "why's" behind policy is essential, according to Claudia Unger of BCD Travel. She recommends travel managers take time to educate Gen Y travelers and develop a communication process that makes sense for them.
For example, keep communications concise and leverage text messaging, infographics and infomercials to keep their attention, recommends Ralph Colunga, of Salesforce.com.
2. Be Disruptively Innovative
Without a doubt, Millennials have grown accustomed to great technology and great design, so it's no surprise that they expect T&E processes to be as intuitively engineered as ones they use for listening to music or online socializing.
This goes for how they book their travel, too. The more integrated and consolidated the booking process, the better. And with more than half of mobile web users shopping for hotel rooms, flights and car rentals, mobile booking capabilities are a given.
Colunga encourages travel managers to embrace the social revolution within travel management programs and provide support for applications that simplify the travel experience. This includes the ability to get information from any source (social), from literally anywhere in the world (mobile), and on any device (open).
3. Limit Your Limits
A new travel frontier is emerging to accommodate Millennials, explains Scott Gillespie, an Independent author and travel expert. Millennials look for the fewest constraints possible when it comes to business travel. So consider opening up some of your company’s travel policy limitations, like the ability to:
- Shop anywhere – period
- Book anywhere – so long as data is captured
- Book with anybody – so long as suppliers are safe
- Book anything (first class, limos, etc) – as long as it's in the traveler's budget
Not ready to take a giant leap to the new frontier? Consider implementing one of the ideas above. And then move into another when your company is ready.
At Concur, we’re working to help you promote compliance and maintain costs while also meeting Millennials' travel and expense expectations. We’ll share how in part two of this series.
Want more details from your peers on how they’re handling Gen Y? Check out this webinar: "35 and Under: Managing a New Generation of Travelers."
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