It is no illusion. There are more risks for travelers in our world today than there were 50 years ago.
And while there have always been hurricanes, social unrest and countries in turmoil, the penetration of global business interests means there are more employees of US corporations and non-profits in the field than ever before. And with home-grown terrorism a new reality, the issue becomes a serious consideration for all corporate travel managers.
So, whether you work for a company whose business travel is mostly domestic, or a tech powerhouse with offices around the globe, risk management is a topic you cannot ignore.
Here are a few tips to bring your program up to speed…
- Create a Crisis Management Team. Many corporations, especially larger ones, will already have one in place. If not, as the Travel Manager you are in a perfect position to help your company pull together the needed elements. When unexpected emergencies arise, you want the people and resources in place to react quickly to protect your employees and company assets. Include members from Human Resources, Security and Senior Management, if possible, to make sure you have access to sensitive files when they become crucial to supporting an employee in the field. Define each team member’s responsibilities in a crisis and make sure all team members have home phone numbers listed because emergencies don’t always occur during business hours.
- Assemble Emergency Profiles for each employee. This file should contain emergency contact numbers (multiple), health information (blood type, chronic conditions, prescriptions), contact information for their primary physician and a digital photograph of the employee. Since many of these items are of a sensitive nature, the file will probably have to reside behind your HR Department’s firewall and only become available on a selected basis during an actual emergency. The important thing is that it be there should you need it!
- Create Action Plans for each emergency type. The difference between the steps you’ll take after a tsunami (the employee may be among 1,000s of missing victims) as opposed to a kidnapping (Would your company pay a ransom? Where would the money come from?) are considerable and bear a little thought beforehand. Imagining the different situations will help you assemble various resources that might be important, but aren’t obvious, like corporate insurance policies or legal representation contact numbers.
- Partner with a TMC which provides robust Duty of Care services. Having a first-class Duty of Care program in place will be a welcome addition to your arsenal of resources should a crisis develop. Among the services which you should expect are emergency event notifications, immunization/entry document notices, flight change alerts and traveler location technology.
- Consider additional partnerships which make sense based on your travel profile. If you have employees based in high-risk locations like Africa or the Middle East extra precautions might be warranted. Medical evacuation services are one example and can be procured by contract, or through travel insurance coverage. There are also numerous Crisis Management Consultants who focus on mitigating damage to a firm’s reputation when services have been disrupted, or a mistake has been made by an employee during the early days of a crisis. While these last services are really beyond the purview of a travel department, having included them as an option in your crisis response plan can only reap positive reviews from management when an emergency happens.
TEPLIS TRAVEL provides a proprietary Duty of Care solution that features WorldAware Trip Briefings and Security Alerts which are matched against traveler PNRs (passenger name records) and GPS locations to deliver crucial information right before or during the trip. Our Traveler Tracking technology can search for individuals or groups of travelers; drilling down to the country, city or neighborhood level and utilizing GPS tracking of each traveler’s cellphone to pinpoint their exact location on a map.
For more information about our Duty of Care program contact your Teplis representative at (404) 843-7460.