The risks you face when travelling for business. Picture: Pexels

Business travellers know that they face a unique set of risks when travelling locally or overseas.

And it's unavoidable as statistics show that about 20 percent of employees are either engaged in business travel or longer-term assignments.

Air passenger numbers alone are expected to double to eight billion in the next 20 years, and many of those passengers will be corporate employees. 

Your company has the legal and moral obligation to provide safety and security to employees when they travel on business. 

According to research conducted by International SOS, risk management plans today are very often out of step with the needs of the modern workforce. 

Sally Napper is a Security Specialist at International SOS and Control Risks and says almost half of decision makers expected that travel risks would increase this year. 

“Our research revealed that the evolving travel habits of the modern workforce are being overlooked by many organisations. Ensuring policies stay relevant to the needs of a modern workforce helps to keep your people safer and better informed, and also demonstrates the continuing importance of adaptive risk management programmes - and could help win board approval and support for other initiatives,” she says.

There are five crucial elements to keep into consideration when putting together a Travel Risk Management Plan

There are five stages of travel risk management: identifying the risk, preparing the traveller, tracking the traveller, communication and response. Each should be included in any TRM plan. 

Risk varies according to location, environment and circumstance

Make sure the risks in each location your travellers visit is visible (not just the life-threatening ones). Just knowing where is a traveller is, doesn’t mean you have a workable plan in place to help when things go wrong. Make it clear to the traveller what those risks are and what measures are being taken in the interests of their safety. 

Prepare your travellers before they travel

Make sure they have the latest advice on vaccination requirements. Educate them on potential health risks, and what to do if they do fall ill while away on business. 

It is vital that health response plans cover extreme eventualities...

Such as a country closing its borders due to disease outbreak, but also more common risks and challenges, such as traffic accidents and personal theft. Travellers need to know what action to take and the support they will receive in these circumstances. 

Having a TRM plan is excellent

But response processes, communication channels and traveller perceptions need to be checked and reviewed regularly. If they don’t work, you could be in real trouble. 

Individual Customer Crisis Plans

Your TMC can work with you to review or implement your TRM solution and support your travelling employees with their individual Customer Crisis Plan.