Travel risk management tips to help business travelers get started

As businesses grow, travel is increasingly becoming a fixture. However, with business travel there are risks and it is essential to manage travel risks as well as possible. Many companies have developed a travel risk management plan as the business grows. If you want to protect traveling employees while also protecting your business, travel risk management is critical.

What is risk management in business travel?

Risk management in business travel can involve many different elements. Risk management aims to minimize the impact of unforeseen events as much as possible and to protect business travelers through a well-designed communication plan that fulfills the duty of care.

For an international organization where travel abroad is necessary, these measures ensure that potential travel risks are planned and there is a structured approach for the safety, security and resilience of the employees.

Examples of hazards while traveling may include:

Civil UnrestPolitical InstabilitySevere WeatherTerrorist AttacksDisease OutbreaksMajor Security IncidentsSudden Travel AlertsEmployee Health IncidentCrime IncidentsOther Potential Threats and Risks

Additional factors to consider when traveling risk

When it comes to managing risks and conducting risk assessments, identifying the type of risk is just one aspect of business continuity and employee safety. If there are frequent travel-related risks, such as business trips to high-risk countries, companies must deploy internal resources to ensure employee safety.

As a starting point, companies should consider additional security measures, such as medical evacuation, political risks and travel insurance. However, it may also be necessary to train employees in how to handle emergency medical and emergency response training. In addition, you may need to include other travel security measures, such as an emergency communication process and emergency contact information based on travelers’ locations.

What should a travel risk management program include?

A comprehensive travel risk management program has two goals: to protect employees from high risk where possible and to ensure business continuity. There are many resources to help design a travel risk assessment and program. We’ll look at some of the key features of a business travel risk assessment and the program should have:

Create a clear corporate travel policy for employees: The first step is to create clear guidelines for international travel that employees should follow. This includes outlining potential risks, critical security information, and how to protect themselves at their travel destination based on the situation. Real-time sources of information: Emergencies are never short and sweet and travel plans can change in the blink of an eye. Ensure that travel arranging and travel approval processes consider threat intelligence and other real-time information sources for up-to-date travel advice. Clear communication: As situations change, employees should be provided with as much information as possible before the trip to protect themselves and the company. Outline the company’s duty of care, security measures in place, and how to contact other members of the organization in the event that travelers encounter an emergency during the trip. Official Advice: Include any government advice, such as travel advisories and resources travelers can consult. You can also use resources such as the Global Business Travel Association to develop holistic policies.

3 Travel Risk Management Tips That Mitigate Risk

Risk management is about protecting the company and the employee, and balancing the two completely can be challenging. We will go through some important tips to keep in mind when designing a business trip program.

1. Create or configure your travel management program

Think about your organizational structure and how it relates to risk management. Make it as streamlined and clear as possible for employees to understand when they go on a business trip. Your travel management program must address risk from pre-trip planning and destination until company employees are back on home soil. A comprehensive policy ensures that the company is protected against unforeseen events, including employee safety, data retention and security measures.

You can designate travel managers who are responsible for the safety, well-being, and management of employee travel risks during employee travel. Also ensure that employees have access to comprehensive health coverage while traveling and resources to help them monitor constantly changing situations during an emergency. You can also provide additional information about how to travel with company equipment and equipment and any data issues to consider.

2. Build out your travel risk management strategy

Your strategy will largely depend on the destinations where employees go and take into account changes in the near future. But key points to consider are information security, operational resilience, and worker protection. In addition, the protection of employees and the functioning of the company in the event of significant threats and risks must be taken into account.

A risk assessment framework before travelers embark on a journey enables companies to more easily enforce travel risk management policies. Consider using broader business travel industry standards such as ISO 31030:2021 – Travel Risk Management – ​​Guidance for Organizations to Design Your Strategy.

3. Use digital technology to make your risk management plan more effective

Fortunately, with so much technology, there are more resources than ever when it comes to mitigating risk. Within the travel manager role, there must certainly be processes where employees regularly check in with wider teams and provide GPS data access on work devices to ensure they can be easily located in the event of an emergency. Depending on the number of traveling employees, measures can also be taken for incident reporting and real-time updates.

Places where workers can get help during emergencies

As part of travel risk management, employees must be aware of emergency resources they can contact as part of the company’s duty of care strategy and manage travel risks.

If employees need medical care or if there are natural disasters, the first step is to contact local embassies and/or authorities to get help. They should also be made aware of local and national organizations that can assist them, as well as any company resources the company can provide in the event of an emergency.

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