Travel Risk Management: How to Provide Safe Businesses Travel

Travel brings both opportunity and risk; to manage the latter, you need a good travel risk management strategy. Adverse incidents during travel don’t just put employees at risk. They can undermine your business’s bottom line. Travel risk management helps you address potential issues and respond quickly and efficiently if an incident occurs. When you put the framework in place to prevent travel-related incidents, you can avoid unexpected costs, legal issues, and potential damage to your company’s hard-won reputation. Business travel can be filled with surprises. An earthquake can keep an international team from reaching the airport. A lost passport can mean navigating the process of finding a replacement while abroad. Even something as simple as a fender bender in an unfamiliar city can lead to missed meetings and unexpected costs. Forewarned is forearmed. While you can’t prevent every potential travel risk, you can avoid many issues and deal with the ones that do occur. An efficient travel risk management plan means you have the data, strategy, and technology you need to work more accurately and effectively.

It’s your duty to care for every employee. With increasing booking options for travelers and constant change in the travel industry, it’s never been harder to stay in contact with and support every traveler when they’re on the road. But it’s also never been more important.

What Is Travel Risk Management?
Travel risk management (TRM) is a proactive and consistent approach that keeps your people safe when they’re on the move. Your business sends its people to the places they need to be. They go for networking, training, sales, and because they need to oversee projects in person. Traveling, of course, is not without risks. Severe weather incidents can cause damage to lodging and delays in travel. Medical emergencies can necessitate swift action. Political unrest can cause unexpected turmoil. There’s no way to predict what may happen. Creating a comprehensive travel risk assessment framework means your organization can avoid risk when possible and mitigate issues when they occur. An effective policy and strategy starts with three key areas: prevention and planning, awareness, and response.

Developing a Comprehensive Travel Risk Assessment Framework

Effective corporate travel risk management is proactive rather than reactive. A framework is developed so you can determine what risks are most likely for you and your enterprise, and can create solutions before a problem ever occurs. For example, say Bill is a logistics expert who travels to multiple countries to help develop new manufacturing plants. If he’s heading to tropical countries during hurricane season, your travel risk management will require plans for severe weather. There may be times he has to cancel travel at the last minute to avoid a storm. If he’s already in a hurricane zone when a storm occurs, the company will need to make arrangements for him to shelter in place until travel is safe and possible again. He may be without power and internet, necessitating a satellite phone to stay in communication. Talk to your traveling employees to learn more about the risks they’ve observed so you can plan accordingly.

Travel Risk Management Starts with Prevention and Planning
You can create best practices that reduce the risks associated with travel, understand the relevant risks in the places you travel, and learn what to do if an incident occurs. What’s one tactic you can use to test your organization’s readiness and develop plans for responses? The Crisis Response Exercise (CRE). This allows you to game your way through hypothetical situations so everyone knows what to do if an incident occurs.

Awareness Is Key
Real-time data is essential to making informed decisions. This need for awareness stretches from the C-suites to every team member and stakeholder. Be sure everyone is aware of their risk and exposure. Be sure they know what to do to mitigate risk. And, make sure they know the right processes if an adverse travel incident occurs. Employees might need travel training to prepare for whatever happens on the road. Situational awareness training, for instance, helps them identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Making sure everyone has realistic expectations and makes the right choices can cut risk and keep everything running smoothly. Awareness is not a one-and-done thing. You need to continually reassess to be aware of:

Changing travel rules and laws
Evolving political situations
Adverse weather
Fast and Effective Response
No one wants to contemplate potential emergencies during travel. But, having the right resources available means that if something does happen while you have people on the road, you can get them to safety quickly.

Communication is the first and most important key. Have contacts for your team members to call to report an incident and to learn what to do next. Consider choosing a travel management solution to give your employees a way to manage things like alternative travel plans on their own for minimum disruption. Whether your travelers are dealing with a missing passport, a fender bender in a strange city, or flights canceled due to unseasonal severe weather, they need to know what to do next.

Travel risk management means having the answers and communicating them, so traveling employees know how to proceed. You can keep them safe, reduce inconvenience, help your company’s bottom line, and preserve your company’s reputation by having a swift reaction and managing your risk.

Putting Travel Management Tools to Work for You
Are you fulfilling your duty of care to your business travelers? Work with a solution that offers a central place to manage travel and make sure your traveling employees have everything they need on the go. Look for a solution that provides tools that help ensure your travel goals are met safely, securely, and conveniently.