The end goal of total collaboration management is to embed virtual technology at the point of booking. While the industry is not there yet, you can start planning for it now. All it requires is a strategic and forward-looking view of the opportunity. Over the next 100 days, commit to creating a total collaboration management strategy. This involves five key steps:
Step 1: Research the facts. Gain a deeper understanding of the technology (in general and employed at your company), your travel spend and your firm’s strategic goals.
Step 2: Make the business case. Track reasons for travel and the trips with the most potential for meeting virtually. This will help you substantiate why your company should step up its investment in these tools and why you should manage your company’s virtual collaboration.
Step 3: Improve the basics. Make the tools easy for employees to use by replacing outdated systems, providing central access, communicating what options are available and providing guidance around when they can be used and how to access them.
Step 4: Integrate into your program. Update your travel policy and booking process to incorporate virtual collaboration options. Establish metrics and reporting to gauge its effectiveness.
Step 5: Communicate. Create a communications strategy and campaign so employees instinctively consider virtual collaboration every time they think about travel options.
Virtual collaboration can never completely replace the human touch, particularly for client relationships. However, it offers the potential for tremendous rewards when strategically integrated into your travel program as part of a total collaboration management strategy. Your program has to adapt.