Balancing duty of care and travel risk management is more a priority now than ever before. How can you strike the perfect balance while also keeping your employees happy?
Duty of care and travel risk management go hand in hand. All companies have a duty-of-care responsibility to their employees, no matter where they are working in the world. Travel risk management is the set of strategies and tactics that employers use to keep their team members healthy and safe while on business trips.
But here’s the challenge: How do you implement those travel risk management strategies and tactics without making the lives of your traveling team members harder? There’s a balance to be struck between duty of care and travel risk management and your employees’ collective happiness.
Here’s a look at 4 things you can do to help ensure your workers remain safe, healthy and happy while away from the office.
When in doubt, communicate more than you think you need to. In a post-COVID-19 world, all companies are updating their travel policies to align with new realities. It’s essential that you communicate and make clear how your travel policies have changed, as well as how your new travel policy benefits your employees.
Within travel policies, travel risk management tactics include:
- Knowing where your employees are in the world at any given time.
- Knowing how to get in touch with your employees at any given time.
- Creating an easily accessible channel for two-way communication.
- Having an established plan to support and/or evacuate your employees as needed.
COVID-19 and other viruses are clear risk management threats. But so too are natural disasters, civil unrest, plus other situations in which your team members could be in harm’s way. In these moments of risk, you need to be sure that you have in place the 4 things listed above — and that your employees are intimately familiar with your channels of communication and plans for support and evacuation. The only way they will become intimately familiar is if you over-communicate with them.
2. Create Feedback Channels
Once you communicate travel policy changes and your risk management approaches to your team members, make sure to open up and maintain feedback channels. If you’re putting an undue burden on your Travelers, no one will identify and be able to explain that burden better than your Travelers themselves.
How can you create feedback channels? Set up a form that Travelers can fill out on your corporate intranet. Create an email address that’s solely used for submitting travel and travel-policy related concerns. Or have a Travel Manager schedule town halls or office hours during which Travelers can share feedback.
And here’s a second part to creating feedback channels: Act on the feedback you get. Make sure that your Travelers feel heard and that, when feasible, you make the easy, obvious adjustments to your travel policy that need to be made.
3. Provide the Technologies Your Team Wants
A huge part of risk management is keeping tabs on your Travelers and being able to communicate with them as needed. The easiest way to keep tabs and communicate is to find and implement mobile-first technologies that your Travelers can use.
Your team members will not always have their laptops open. They will not always be in a position to make and receive phone calls. But they will almost always have a mobile device in hand. That mobile device can be used to share their location and to send messages back and forth during a threat to their safety or health. Make sure you incorporate mobile-first technologies for your Travelers sake — and for their convenience. In general, choosing the right travel technologies is the best way for your travel program to meets its goals.
4. Implement an Incentive Structure
Your travel policy exists to create a structure that promotes health and safety. In short, the more your Travelers comply with your travel policy, the easier it will be to live up to your company’s duty-of-care responsibility. So create a rewards or other incentive program for travel policy compliance. If your Travelers can earn points or perks for simple things like downloading your TMC’s app, booking within policy, updating contact information, or performing other easy tasks, they’ll be happy and so will your travel management team.
Reduce Risk With JTB Business Travel
When you’re looking for a duty of care solution that helps you reduce risk, JTB Business Travel can help. It’s hard to create your own duty of care and risk management solutions, which is why it’s better to rely on an expert provider.
Learn more about how we can support your duty of care needs.