With today’s global business expansion and growing mobile workforce, travel and risk managers are becoming much savvier about using ‘smart’ risk management tools and best practice considerations when developing and enhancing their travel and risk management programmes. In the wake of political and civil unrest, terrorism, natural disasters and health alerts crossing into many of our country’s borders, organisations cannot afford to not have a robust travel and risk management programme. Preparation and pre-trip planning, threat and traveller monitoring, communications and emergency response planning and training are all fundamental activities that should be included in a risk management programme.
While cost containment and compliance is a reality in today’s organisations – and often a key driver for travel and risk management policies - responsible travel and risk management transcends beyond cost containment and compliance policies to proactive engagement with travellers and expatriates throughout their entire travel journeys. It begins with pre-trip planning and destination preparation. Having accurate intelligence on the political, environmental, cultural, criminal, health and travel requirements of a destination helps travellers to be informed and prepared for their travel, enabling them to avoid or mitigate risky situations.
Knowing where personnel are located during travel and expatriate assignments is important for travel and risk management. But knowing where potential threats are relative to the locations of an organisation’s personnel enables travel and risk managers to be even more effective and responsive in protecting their personnel. Real-time threat alerts and traveller tracking technologies are examples of smart tools that organisations can leverage to bolster their risk management programmes.
Savvy travel and risk managers also know that being proactive and prepared for a security or medical emergency is an effective approach to protecting personnel. An effective risk management programme is not only developing emergency response protocols, but practicing and communicating them throughout the organization so that they are known and well understood. Knowing what to do and whom to call in an emergency situation can help a traveller or expatriate avoid and get out of harm’s way quickly instead of being surprised, uncertain and potentially unsafe.
Leverage best risk management practices and guidelines, innovative technologies, and emergency planning to build a robust risk management programme. Broadly communicate the policies across the organisation. Then practice, monitor, measure and tune/update the program. Doing so can help organisation’s develop a responsible risk management programme that enables them to protect their people and meet Duty of Care obligations.
This post was written by Marianne Hoski, marketing director, iJET International, who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show alongside AXA Assistance. To register for the show, which takes place 4-5 February, please visit www.businesstravelshow.com