Risk management learnings for future resilience

Man on mobile phone whilst in a car

2022 served as a reminder that travel disruptions can come in many forms and that downstream risks are just as important as their catalyst. Companies should use lessons from the past to evolve and strengthen their operational resiliency in the face of what’s to come in the future.

For example, earlier this year, as COVID-19 restrictions eased, airports and carriers around the world had to come to terms that they were simply not ready for the large swaths of passengers returning to the skies. Companies were faced with a new dilemma: airport and airline operational meltdowns.

In 2023, organizations should stay vigilant of everything from labor strikes to mass transit delays as providers continue to strengthen their operational capabilities.


Sanctions and supply flow challenges

The conflict in Ukraine continues to be a destabilizing factor around the world. It’s just one example of some of the geopolitical threats facing companies and their travelers in 2023 and beyond. From social unrest in Brazil and Peru, to rising tensions between neighbors in East Asia and the Middle East, these trends can often result in actions that disrupt the free flow of goods and travel across both city and country lines.

Companies can mitigate their risk in 2023 by reviewing their business continuity plans and working with key stakeholders to reintroduce or reinforce safety and risk best practices.

Large global sporting events are back

If 2022 was inspiring in one way, it was through the reintroduction of sold-out crowds at popular global events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Though the event was in no short supply of controversies, companies were more prepared than ever to tackle travel logistics, thanks to a range of helpful security solutions offered by both the private and public sectors.

In 2023, keep an eye out for events such as the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the coronation of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort in the UK, and the 19th Asian Games in China.

Are you truly focused on your people?

In 2023, the goal for all companies should be centered around ‘resilience’ for all of its people. People risk management has become a major cornerstone that encourages companies to focus not just on traveling employees, but all employees.

With global mobility at an all-time high, companies should work with compliance teams to have policies in place for a diverse array of staff – from road warriors to work-from-anywhere employees. Coming off the heels of its 2021 introduction, ISO 31030:2021 and its parent, ISO 31000:2018 have proven to be valuable frameworks for companies looking to build or strengthen their holistic risk management strategies.

With many corporate travelers hitting the road again, companies should focus on getting back to basics. They can start by reevaluating their travel policy and by bridging the gap between key stakeholders within their businesses from HR and legal to corporate security, communications, risk, and compliance. In addition, companies should take into consideration environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives as well as diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) needs when re-drafting their travel and people risk management policies.

Cyberthreats remain

With new digital threats on the horizon, companies should consider cyber threats facing their traveling employees in 2023. Organizations like the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the United States, l’Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information (ANSSI) in France, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) have all created useful tools to help urge companies better protect their people from malicious cyber-attacks.

Double down on partnerships

2023 is the year that companies of all shapes and sizes will need to double down on partnerships that broaden their knowledge of travel and people risk management trends.

For example, FCM has worked closely with public-private partnerships like the Overseas Security & Advisory Council (OSAC) in the United States, as well as with a diverse array of risk management companies including Crisis24 and Sherpa. Together, we track everything from 2023’s new ETIAS Visa Waiver rollout to health, transportation, environmental, geopolitical, and everchanging COVID-19 border and movement restrictions.

By the end of 2022, FCM helped its customers track nearly 1,300 travel alerts related to COVID-19 border and movement restrictions, and just under 15,000 alerts covering a range of categories from transportation-related incidents to severe weather phenomena. In 2023, FCM expects those numbers to remain the same as entry/exit requirements continue to evolve in the wake of new COVID-19 variants and as countries become less dependent on ‘zero-COVID’ policies.

And while all of this may seem like a large obstacle, it’s important to have a trustworthy travel partner by your side to help tackle each new challenge along the way. A partner with 24/7 travel assistance capabilities, intuitive products, and years of travel and risk management experience that aligns with your company’s needs to help make 2023 the safest, smoothest, and most efficient year to date.

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