Good luck and safe travels! This is a how we bid farewell when someone takes a trip. It’s just an expression but the truth is travel inherently comes along with certain risks. Therefore, corporate travel risk management remains one of the core priorities in the business world today for both business owners and travelers.
It is also true that in the last decade travel has become easier and safer, but as we live in an increasingly unstable world, recent studies say that 60% of travelers are more anxious or fearful when traveling compared with 12 months ago.
Any travel risk management program must start by knowing and analyzing the risk associated with traveling, so protocols and procedures can be established. When we travel we might find ourselves in an unfamiliar or disadvantageous environments, often not even speaking or understanding the local language. Or, we may travel to areas where exposure to health risks or theft is more likely, putting us at risk of losing our laptop, mobile devices and valuable data.
To mitigate these risks, the vast majority of companies have travel risk management plans in place. However, are these programs efficient? Unfortunately, in some cases, travelers might be unaware of such procedures. In a recent study of the Global Business Travel Association, 28% of travelers report their company either doesn’t have a risk management plan in place or they are unsure if there is one.
So how can you, as a business, prepare your traveling employees to face risk? Companies need to provide the right level of care and ensure employees have the right tools and strategies to protect themselves.
The three pillars of a travel risk management program
Employee knowledge is power – Communication makes all the difference and adequate and relevant information will be the most valuable travel risk management tool. Offer training on safe travel practices, and prepare destination briefs with current pre and on-trip information.
Real-time monitoring – One of the reasons out of policy and travel arrangements are bad for business is companies and travel managers lose track of where their travelling staff are staying. While travelers might have some privacy concerns, it is crucial employers can locate travelers and provide emergency assistance within minutes. Keeping travelers safe is not only company responsibility, but also their duty.
24/7 assistance – Similarly, travelers must be confident they can call for emergency if needed. Make sure you team know who and how to contact when the need arises.