Many companies face the fundamental challenge of keeping their corporate workforce safe whilst travelling on business.There is increasing pressure on businesses to ensure they provide an adequate duty of care (DOC) to their employees from a moral and legal perspective and also how duty of care encompasses the business travellers well-being.
But what does keeping your travellers safe mean?
Keeping your travellers in the know at all times is one of the key principles of maintaining a robust travel policy. There are many ways in which up to date and concise information can be delivered to travellers and travel bookers such as the use of apps, email and even through training sessions. Ensuring all parties have the relevant information instils confidence and provides peace of mind.
Protection can be as simple as adapting and avoiding certain types of behaviours when travelling to at risk countries. Through education, communications and regular updates to your travellers / travel bookers you can start to understand the risks. Businesses have to be mindful that each person's perceptions are different of any situation so a good outline of what should happen in certain circumstances should be defined within your travel policy. A good Travel Management Company should take your corporate traveller safety seriously and have a robust set of procedures and tools in place, whether that be traveller tracking, 24hr assistance, travel alerts or management dashboards for managing your travellers in a crisis.
Practice makes perfect! Have an efficient response in place and practice the processes in case the real risk occurs. Taking the necessary risk control measures - whether that be through assessments and having a clear indication of the incident management within your travel policy, will help to provide the ideal solution if the unfortunate happens.
What are the costs of getting it wrong?
If the unfortunate is to happen, and you do not have the above set in place, the outcomes can be costly both financially and morally. There are tangible and intangible outcomes for getting it wrong; potential loss of business in the area of travel could occur, as well as possible lawsuits.The time and effort in retrieving employees from an area when in a crisis by using commercial airlines as well as the added costs of doing so. Taking also into account the negative impact on staff morale, employee retention or future recruitment as this may be affected as well along with the reputation of the company.
What are the benefits of getting it right?
Prevention is better than the cure, the time energy and expenditure efforts are reduced in a positive way. Getting it right can be a business enabler and can open up new territories, which will aid in growing the reputation of the business in the marketplace .This again will improve morale, staff retention and recruitment rates.
There is no one size fits all ideal solution for corporate traveller safety. This is where a Travel Management Company really comes into their own as they tailor each duty of care requirement to each individual organisation, ensuring the business travel policy includes the ethos and culture of the business. They will take into account the demographic profile of the travellers and take into consideration the company strategy. Being aware of the “off the shelf” solutions and seeking appropriate guidance will stand any business in good stead. What you need to remember is that flexibility is key when looking at duty of care.