Travel risk management is an integral part of every organization’s security. It’s a complex process of protecting the company and its employees from travel risks. TRM also includes the ability to prevent crises by eliminating all possible risks.
In a challenging year, like 2020 definitely is, with a massive impact on traveling worldwide, travel risk management is even more critical.
Not many people know the details of a safely planned trip and the complications one might come across. With that in mind, in this article, we’ll introduce you to what travel risk management is all about. So, let’s start!
The subject of this particular article is at the heart of any corporate security’s beginnings. Prior to establishing a full-scale executive security program, any company should always teach these principles to their corporate travelers.
Quite often, the safety and security of executives really come down to a sharpened sense of situational awareness. They become heavily engrossed in their respective company tasks for any period, and their senses become dulled to all else. Training them to have a heightened sense of their surroundings removes a number of pitfalls that can be easily avoided.
An important point I would make is that along with correct policy, communications, improving strategies, and feedback, there should be thorough intel/analysis reports provided and broken down to be clearly understood. A well-informed C-suite executive group is not only safe and secure but capable of thoughtful self-planning and execution of daily operations without the incessant worries of immediate surroundings or circumstances.
Chris Grow, Executive Protection Specialist
The Key Points of Travel Risk Management
There are so many risks associated with traveling. The main include cultural and language difficulties, health, crime, war, and political instability, and terrorism. However, so many more threats are present while traveling. Still, even matters concerning disease, hygiene, transportation, cultural differences, and other uncertainties need to be covered with a comprehensive travel risk strategy.
Companies are obligated to provide safe and pleasant trips to their employees who travel for business purposes. For travel risk management, specific points are vital for making that happen. Some of those are:
- Right policy setup,
- Communication with travelers in cases of emergency,
- Continually improving risk management strategies, and,
- Listening to the feedback,
Companies need to review their policy setup regularly. Without the right policy, you won’t be able to minimize traveling risk and develop a risk management strategy. The procedure can also contain the list of high-risk destinations, safer routes, any traveling limitations of any kind.
Communicating with employees in cases of emergency is extremely important for their safety. Keeping databases up to date is a priority – you need to remind employees to review and update their contact information. If something goes wrong during the trip, specific alerts are essential. These alerts can be sent through a mobile app on the employee’s phone.
Continual improvement is the key to efficient travel risk management. A company needs to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of its current risk management strategy. All departments included in TRM should be involved in this process. It’s the best way to identify the gaps and oversights. Also, by monitoring ongoing global threats, the companies can receive early warnings and manage the exposure of their employees.
Feedback is vital for improving every step of the travel risk management strategy. Employees directly involved in a crisis can provide the best information. These are useful for creating simulations and for a post-crisis analysis. Cultural differences in travel risk perception
Understanding the needs of travelers is essential for a comprehensive approach to travel risk management. By understanding their perception of risks and safety, companies can create not only adequate risk management policies but a prevention strategy as well.
The existence of cultural differences means that citizens of distant parts of the world won’t have the same reactions in certain stressful and endangering situations. Also, they won’t perceive the same occurrence as risky. Even if the same risk is introduced to a single group of travelers, their reactions will still be different.
Factors that influence people’s risk perceptions aren’t exclusively cultural. There is the impact of age, gender, and social status. It can also depend on whether a person travels alone or in a group, the stage of travel, or how someone is capable of risk recognition.
All of these factors apply to the perception of safety and security as well. This is essential because it influences people’s intention to travel and to put their safety in a company’s hands.
Travel risk management needs to have an insight into the structure of its employees in order to adjust its security strategy accordingly. Risky situations create a specific state of mind – when emotions, anxiety, and fear are overwhelming, only the most precise information will stick in a person’s mind. Therefore, educating the employees is vital for successful travel risk management.
Which brings us to the next part.
Educating Employees as a Vital Part of TRM
Travel risk management starts way before any of the employees go on a business trip. Educating people about the destination of their trip is the first step. Travel risk management’s role is to provide information about potential health and safety issues, along with cultural and climate conditions.
Mandatory seminars about their trip or about prohibited actions and conduct in certain countries can also be beneficial. Travel risk management benefits a lot from this proactive approach.
Educating the employees is an even more critical part than the risk assessment. If people don’t know how to use that information, nothing makes sense.
Training on behavior in endangering situations are essential as well. Introduce your employees to all of the security mechanisms in your company. People need to know how to keep in touch if something bad happens.
On the other hand, when crises pass, employees need to reach out and let the company know they are safe. A support system and active response service are vital parts of TRM after the departure.
Keep in mind that all the existing mechanisms need to be presented to the people. They need to be aware of all their available resources in case of an emergency. If they don’t know something exists, how will they use it? Monthly awareness newsletters are a great idea to keep them on track.
Travel Risk Management to the Rescue
As you can see, there is a lot more to TRM than it seems.
All the problems from losing a passport to emergencies in cases of natural or political disasters are part of TRM. A comprehensive and customized strategy is where you start from.
TRM needs to include the risks and safety perceptions of the employees. Customized Security travel mechanisms are vital for an employee’s safe departure, stay and return from a specific business trip.
Every efficient TRM needs to have the right policy setup as well as ready communication channels with their employees in need. Continuous improvement of the risk strategy and listening to feedback should always be at the top of your priorities.