What should companies be doing to meet ever-increasing duty of care obligations to mitigate travel risk?
In an increasingly dangerous world, your duty of care obligations to your business travellers should be at the top of your corporate agenda.
According to 2017 research by Ipsos Mori, 72% of business travellers and travel managers believe that health and security risks have increased in the past year whilst 80% of organisations have modified travel itineraries due to health or security concerns.
Further measures cited by travel managers in a recent 2017 survey conducted by ABTA and FCM Travel Solutions was to include catering to business travellers’ needs better within the travel policy through the inclusion of sharing economy options, bleisure opportunities and internal wellness programs.
Personalising the business traveller’s experience also helps to reduce traveller friction – the negative impact that travel has on a traveller, e.g. insomnia, depression, discomfort, exhaustion.
Travel Management Companies (TMCs) also have a key role to play in supporting their clients’ duty of care responsibilities. Although the majority of safety-related incidents faced by business travellers tend to be low-risk, e.g. lost baggage, the range of risk is becoming broader - theft leading to loss of sensitive company information to major terrorist incidents. TMCs are therefore stepping up their efforts to support clients with their Travel Risk Management (TRM) solutions and the creation or revision of crisis management plans and response processes tailored to their clients’ structures and cultures.
Here are our 6 top tips to mitigate your risk:
1. There are 5 stages of Travel Risk Management (TRM) plan; identifying the risk, preparing the traveller, tracking the traveller, communication and response.
2. Risk varies according to location, environment and circumstance. Make sure the risks in each location your travellers visit is visible – not just the life-threatening ones. Just knowing where a traveller is does not mean you have a workable plan in place to help when things go wrong. Make it clear to the traveller what those risks are, what measures are being taken in the interests of their safety.
3. Prepare your travellers before they travel. Make sure they have the latest advice on vaccination requirements and where to get them. Educate them on potential health risks, how to prevent them and what to do if they do fall ill whilst travelling on business.
4. It is important that health response plans cover extreme eventualities such as a country closing its borders due to disease outbreak, but also more everyday risks such as traffic accidents and personal theft. Travellers need to know what action to take and the support they will receive in these circumstances.
5. Response processes, communication channels and traveller perceptions of the available support need to be checked and reviewed regularly.
6. Make use of available technologies to help support and manage your TRM plan. Your TMC should be able to guide you on what systems are available and work with you to review or implement your TRM solution supported by their own Customer Crisis Plan.
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