Risk and recovery. Putting the spotlight on duty of care.

Man sitting in suitcase

Travel can have its challenges - especially when needing to navigate international incidents, industrial action or adverse weather. Not surprising then that risk management and duty of care are so important.

COVID-19 has added a new level of complexity. Companies need up-to-the minute information around travel restrictions and regulations. They expect their TMC to flag potential risks, alert travelers to any developments or looming changes, and bring their teams back should the need arise.

But, for Matt DeMaris, FCM’s Global Safety & Risk Product Leader, it’s all part of the job. Because, he says, traveler confidence and a successful return to business travel is underpinned by a solid approach to risk management. One which combines the right people and partners, cutting-edge tech and personal service when you need it most.

Does your risk management program measure up?


Tighten up your travel policy

Start by asking the following questions:

  1. Are there gaps in your approvals process? Do you want to add a layer of authorization for safety and compliance purposes? Or is it overcomplicated, resulting in a slow back-and-forth between approvers and travelers? FCM’s newly-refined approvals system allows all traveler requests to come into one dashboard, with omni-channel approvals. It’s slick and streamlined.
  2. Who has ‘ownership’ over your travel policy and response plans? Can they respond quickly and decisively if travel restrictions or entry/exit requirements change?
  3. What is your company policy around issues like vaccinations, vaccine certificates, traveler behavior and traveler responsibility?
  4. Are you able to conduct a rigorous traveler and/or destination risk assessment?
  5. Is your policy clearly laid out, easy to understand, and instantly accessible?
  6. Are you making the most of settings and features in your online booking tool to nudge policy and maximize compliance? In FCM Platform you can highlight preferred suppliers and nudge travelers to book in policy.

There’s never been a better time to review, update and communicate your policy – making sure duty of care is front and center.

Build trust

Although many travelers are keen to hit the road, the first ‘post-pandemic’ trip might be daunting.

Talk to your employees, get a sense of some of their fears and frustrations. Use this feedback to reassess and reinforce your travel risk management strategy.

The Institute of Travel Management recommends that travel managers ask their travelers some important questions before a trip is confirmed, including:

  • How do you feel about this business trip?
  • What can we (as a company) do to make sure you feel happy, rested and productive during your time away?
  • How is this trip going to affect your personal life and your physical and mental wellbeing?
  • Is there anything you are worried about for your trip?
  • What would you like changed, or implemented for this trip, to give you a better experience?

Open the lines of communication, build trust and work closely with your TMC to share information and allay any fears.

FCM Platform’s globally consistent communication center makes it easy for managers and bookers to build trust and confidence. They can message individual travelers or groups across the world directly with alerts or important information, and facilitate instant access to after-hours, on-the-ground travel assistance.

Staying connected has never been so easy. Or more important.

Develop partnerships

There’s little doubt that the focus for airlines, hotels and other travel suppliers will be on health and safety for the foreseeable future. 2022 will see even more advances in biosafety, sanitization and no-touch technology.

Your TMC should be able to vet all suppliers, building a global network of trusted partners who prioritize duty of care and traveler wellbeing. It goes beyond your travel suppliers into the realm of specialized travel risk management providers, repatriation membership programs and private/public partnerships, which can be challenging. A TMC with years of experience working with third parties is key to beefing up your strategy.

And it’s not just introductions, FCM Platform can facilitate integrations too. That’s why the FCM Platform integrates with risk management providers like Crisis24 to give you an immediate and clear picture of incidents worldwide and the location of travelers at potential risk.

FCM will also work with the preferred partner of your choice to ensure data around your most important asset, your people, integrates seamlessly with their technology.

Embrace tech

According to DeMaris, the biggest trends in this space will be around tracking and visibility tools – as well as round-the-clock communication channels.

“Tech features like instant alerts, traveler tracking, monitoring and reporting are now non-negotiables when it comes to risk management,” says DeMaris.

“Today, technology facilitates traveler safety. The FCM platform allows you to build and customize interactive safety dashboards, where travel managers can get an immediate snapshot of where their travelers are, including flight times, ETAs, accommodation, itineraries and more.”


Get mobile

FCM Mobile to be exact. Alongside traveler tracking tools, communication capabilities are critical when it comes to keeping travelers safe and informed.

“FCM Mobile allows travelers to receive up-to-date information around their trip,” says DeMaris. “This includes anything from flight changes to boarding gate information – and even the weather at their destination. But more than that, instant travel alerts inform travelers of any unexpected developments or incidents.”

FCM Mobile has 24/7 live chat functionality as well as a call-back function so travelers can ask for advice and support any time, any place.

“Always available or ‘always on’ travel assistance is one of FCM’s key pillars,” says DeMaris. “It remains at the heart of our tech developments, so we remain responsive, connected and a step ahead – but it also means that travelers have round the clock access to experienced travel advisors, so you always feel supported while out on the road. For example, FCM Mobile can integrate a third party crisis hotline of your choice. That way, if there’s a critical incident nearby travelers have a chance to get health and safety advice in addition to travel assistance.”

For DeMaris, it’s this combination of human expertise and smart technology that makes for a strong risk management program.

“Increasingly, companies are relying on travel advisors with the in-depth knowledge and experience to identify and mitigate risks; understand the different risks associated with different destinations; have the agility needed to keep up with changing travel restrictions; and have the tech capabilities to track and communicate quickly with travelers,” says DeMaris.

Business travel’s recovery is exciting but the world has just changed. So too should your approach to risk management and duty of care.

FCM Platform. Seamless technology backed by people.

Book your demo to see it in action.

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