by Scott Fischer, Director, Business Development
Nothing trumps security, and both Travel Management Companies (TMC’s) and their clients bear serious legal and ethical responsibilities for managing travel risk. I could include endless examples for you to identify with when it comes to global travel threats. The key point is, every company should be taking steps NOW to up their game and become more prepared.
If you (or your company) are in the beginning stages of developing or working to refine your current risk strategy plan, we advise you to consider the following key principles:
- Be detail oriented – The more thorough your company’s emergency planning, the more effective your response will be when an emergency happens. Having the right systems and processes in place with your travel management provider and risk services providers will be invaluable in moments of crisis. Details you need to put a crisis response plan together include traveler medical information (allergies, prescriptions, primary care physicians), family contact numbers and TMC contact numbers. Your crisis response team should have instant access to this information whenever it’s needed, even if it’s the middle of the night.
- Avoid disruption – Removing your employee from a dangerous or even life-threatening situation is your immediate task when trouble occurs. However, avoiding the business interruption and reputational risks that come with an emergency situation should also be considered. If you have clients who depend on your consistent service in the field you should have contingency plans in place to quickly maintain your obligations. These plans should factor in any legal liabilities to employees as well as your responsibilities to your wider stakeholder community.
- Don’t go it alone – Working with a reputable travel management company will help alleviate many of the problems of fulfilling your corporate responsibilities. Being able to count on them to enact many of the emergency planning procedures a company will need is why a strategic approach to travel management is key to a successful multi-national business; or any business for that matter.
Additionally, I’ve included an effective emergency response planning checklist for your consideration…
Confirm Traveler Tracking Capabilities. Knowing where each traveler should be and where they actually are, at any given moment is vital. Business is nothing if not about change, and most business travelers change their location a lot! Make sure your TMC’s Traveler Tracking program is in place and dependable.
Enable timely, accurate and targeted communication. Have a clear plan for which team member will communicate with the traveler, the TMC and the traveler’s family. Establish these protocols well before any potential event. Duplicated messages, communicating with the wrong people – or just as negative – sending the wrong message, can add more stress to an effective emergency response.
Make sure travelers have the right information and are briefed on travel risks before they travel. (Your TMC can provide you with links to State Department Advisories for each individual destination. Create a FAQ page on your company website, or within your official travel policy, with traveler safety tips and company procedures in the event of an emergency. This will make them feel more at ease and make emergency situations easier to handle.
Appoint a Captain for your Emergency Response Team, whose members should include Human Resources, Security, IT, Risk Management and Executive Office personnel. This individual should be given responsibility for ensuring all aspects of your plan have been formalized and all needed information has been collected.
Communicate the response plan widely to your organization and be sure to integrate it into your overall travel policy.
If you would like to discuss how your company can create an effective risk strategy plan or how Teplis Travel can enhance your company’s traveler safety and security through our Global Secure Platform, I would be happy to help you. Contact me, Scott Fischer – [email protected] or by phone at (678) 420-2538.