As businesses grow, travel becomes more of a staple. However, business travel involves risk and managing travel risk in the best possible way is essential. Many companies have developed a travel risk management plan as their business has grown. If you want to protect traveling employees while protecting your business, travel risk management is critical.
What is business travel risk management?
Business travel risk management can involve many different elements. Risk management aims to minimize the impact of unforeseen events and protect business travelers through a well-designed due diligence communications plan.
For an international organization where international travel is required, these measures ensure that potential travel risks are planned for and there is a structured approach to employee safety, security and organizational resilience.
Examples of dangers when traveling could be:
- civil unrest
- Political instability
- terrorist attack
- disease outbreaks
- Major incidents related to security
- Sudden travel warnings
- employee health incident
- criminal incidents
- All other potential threats and risks
Additional factors to consider when considering travel risks
When it comes to risk management and conducting risk assessments, identifying the nature of the risk is just one aspect of business continuity and employee safety. If there is a common travel-related risk, such as Business trips to high-risk countries, for example, require companies to use internal resources to ensure employee safety.
As a starting point, companies should consider additional security measures such as medical evacuation, political risk, and travel insurance. However, you may also need to consider training staff on how to deal with a medical emergency and emergency procedures. In addition, you may need to incorporate other travel security measures, e.g. B. An emergency communication process and emergency contact information based on traveler locations.
What should a travel risk management program include?
A comprehensive travel risk management program has two objectives: to protect employees from high risks wherever possible and to ensure business continuity. There are many resources to help design a travel risk assessment and travel program. We will look at some of the core business travel risk assessment features that the program should have:
- Create clear business travel policies for employees: The first step is to create clear international travel guidelines that employees must adhere to. This includes potential risks, critical safety information and how to protect yourself depending on the situation at the destination.
- Real-time information sources: Emergencies are never dry and travel plans can change on the fly. Ensure travel control and travel authorization processes incorporate threat intelligence and other real-time sources of information for up-to-date travel advisories.
- Clear communication: As situations change, employees need to be armed with as much information as possible before travel to protect themselves and the company. Describe the company’s duty of care, the security measures in place and how to contact other members of the organization should travelers encounter emergencies during the trip.
- Official advice: Include any government advice, e.g. B. Travel Advice and Resources for Travelers to Consult. You can also use resources like the Global Business Travel Association to develop a holistic policy.
3 travel risk management tips that will mitigate risks
Risk management is about protecting the business and people, and it can be difficult to fully balance the two. We’ll go over some important tips to keep in mind when designing a program for a business trip.
1. Create or reconfigure your travel management program
Consider your organizational structure and how it relates to risk management. Make it as easy and straightforward as possible for your employees to understand the start of a business trip. Your travel management program needs to address risk from pre-trip planning and destination to company employees back on home soil. An all-encompassing policy ensures the company is protected against unforeseen events, including employee protection, data retention and security measures.
You can appoint designated travel managers who are responsible for the safety and well-being of employees, as well as managing travel risks that arise during employee travel. Also ensure employees have access to comprehensive medical insurance while traveling and resources to help them monitor the ever-evolving situations during an emergency. They can also provide additional information about how to travel with company devices and equipment and what privacy concerns to be aware of.
2. Develop your travel risk management strategy
Your strategy will largely depend on which destinations employees are traveling to and will accommodate changes in the near future. However, key issues to consider include information security, operational resiliency, and employee protection. In addition, employee protection and the functioning of the company must be considered in the event of significant threats and risks.
A risk assessment framework before travelers embark on their trip allows organizations to more easily enforce travel risk management policies. Consider using broader business travel industry standards such as ISO 31030:2021 – Travel Risk Management – Guidance for Organizations to Design Your Strategy.
3. Use digital technology to make your risk management plan more effective
Fortunately, with so much technology out there, there are more resources than ever when it comes to risk mitigation. There should definitely be processes in place within the Travel Manager role where employees perform regular check-ins with larger teams and provide GPS data access to work equipment to ensure they can be easily located in an emergency. Depending on the number of employees traveling, incident reporting measures and real-time updates may also be in place.
Places where employees can get help in emergencies
As part of travel risk management, employees should be aware of the emergency resources they can turn to as part of the company’s due diligence strategy and to manage travel risks.
When employees need medical care or natural disasters occur, the first step should be to contact the local embassies and/or authorities for assistance. They should also be made aware of local and national organizations that can assist them, as well as any company resources that the company can provide in the event of an emergency.
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