Recent events like terrorist attacks across Europe and home-bred violence have left many questioning the safety and security of traveling. And unfortunately for some industries, travel is unavoidable. As an employer overseeing your employees, it is your responsibility to ensure their safety, even while traveling on your company’s behalf. Duty of care and security issues are a growing concern in recent years, and they are expected to continue. So what can you do to create a safe environment even with these growing safety trends? According to Business Insurance, the best way to keep concerns at bay is to keep both the company and its business travelers informed with facts and tips. Ensuring that everyone has been briefed with information and on the same page can be vital if the unexpected arises. So during this time of growing uncertainty, how can you and your employees feel more confident about traveling for business? Read our 7 tips below.
7 ways to keep employees safe while traveling
- One of the first steps is providing information about the upcoming area. Having a real sense of what your road warriors are heading into or what can be expected is often the biggest comfort. Research and briefing on the country, city or neighborhood can often reveal interesting facts or tips. Also providing guidelines or schedules can provide more structure and context for travelers.
- An interactive resource includes the U.S. State Department’s online Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows U.S. citizens to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate when traveling or living abroad. The purpose is to provide latest safety and security information in the area, and inform the U.S. Embassy of your whereabouts, in case of an emergency.
- Additional research can be beneficial depending on the area of the traveler. For instance, the US government has released an app for U.S.travelers attending the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. It provides tourist and safety information about the area, including the location of embassies, hospitals and emergency numbers.
- Additional duty of care responsibilities for travelers. We know assessing this risk is your biggest responsibility. Has your organization demonstrated you have taken all practicable steps to meet your employee’s health, safety and well-being needs? Is it credible and well documented? Having open and clear communication with your employees are necessary for this assessment. And of course, if your employee does not feel comfortable traveling, you need to listen to these concerns and assess the situation.
- Know your travelers specific travel needs. Be aware of any individual requirements needed by the traveler, and ensure they are given the appropriate information in order to manage, reduce or eliminate specific risks. Employers should be aware of pre existing medical conditions and confirm the traveling country has adequate medical facilities.
- Invest in a business travel policy. Travel policies are created to establish that companies are providing efficient support for their travelers, and travelers are aware of the support given too. Again, communication about what is provided and what to expect can go a long way.
- Encourage employees to take appropriate health measures beforehand. Providing guidelines on the area to which they are traveling can prepare them for health measures as well. Recommend your traveler visits their doctor to go over specific risks and prevention methods.
- Ensure tech and cyber security has been discussed. This is another growing area of concern. Discuss cyber threat methods and the best ways to thwart them.
- Finally, Make an evacuation plan or communication plan in case the unexpected arises. If the worst does happen, are you prepared? Are you able to immediately communicate with your road warriors if they are in an insecure area? Do they know the communication protocol should something arise? Unfortunately, the answer is usually ‘no’. That’s why we created SecurityLogic as part of our travel technology suite. This application alerts travel managers if a traveler is in an area experiencing threats or attacks. The travel manager can then immediately text or email from the application to immediately make contact and ensure the traveler is safe.
Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company, dedicated to providing travel solutions for busy businesses. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in learning more about travel policies, our proprietary technology, or how we continually save companies time and money.