Business travel a potential answer to the “Great Resignation” issue

business travel
Waiting for the flight

The phenomenon known as the “Great Resignation” is affecting many companies in the wake of the pandemic. A recent report from Microsoft underscored this problem, finding that 41 per cent of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year, with 46 per cent planning to make a major pivot or career transition.

With 2022 looking like the eye of the storm when it comes to the “Great Resignation”, business travel firm Corporate Traveller says this is a critical time for SMEs to take to the skies to both retain and win new talent, thus helping address the resignation wave.

“Let’s face it, Zoom and Teams have been excellent tools over the past 18 months, and they will play a part going forward, but no business is going to sign a deal worth millions over a virtual platform – there’s simply too much risk involved in taking that leap,” Tom Walley, GM of SME business travel specialist Corporate Traveller, said.

“The vast majority of the feedback that I’ve received internally and from our customers is those who have made the effort to travel and see employees and prospects face-to-face have made more of an impact in a day or two than they would have in six months of virtual meeting calendar matching,” Walley added. “Virtual platforms are excellent for information sharing but they really don’t cut it when it comes to key decision making. SMEs need to get back out there to engage with their own employees as well as linking up with potential prospects as soon as they possibly can.”

Walley revealed that several business owners have identified the last few weeks before Christmas as being a real window of opportunity to build and strengthen relationships ahead of the new year.

“London has stormed into the top three destinations booked by our Corporate Traveller customers from both Sydney and Melbourne and England’s capital has also made its way back into the top 10 as a whole brand – it hasn’t been in that position since before COVID hit globally,” Walley said.

“We know international travel is returning at pace out of Sydney and Melbourne and the enquiry we’re getting from Brisbane is unbelievable – the pent-up demand to travel both interstate and overseas for business from the Sunshine State is insatiable,” Walley added. “There is now the realisation that only face-to-face interactions can save the leakage of talent and we’re expecting to see a significant uplift in international travel from February onwards. SMEs can’t afford not to travel and those that can, will.

“We know there may be some confusion early next year with the many different requirements for travel – but that’s where having a travel management company on your side has never been more vital,” Walley said. “I advise SMEs to have a marketing and sales strategy ready, innovate through your existing technology to differentiate your brand, create a cashflow positive strategy, strengthen customer service functions, improve business reporting, involve your human resources professional, update your business’s travel and expense policy, and, of course, take to the skies and get out to see your people and prospects.”