Successful risk management for corporate travel starts with good communication

Last year, International SOS presented the results of its 2017 Business Impact of Travel Risk survey. The most striking conclusion is that organizations consider the improvement of international communication and education on travel risks to be their top priorities. Below is a brief summary of the research results.

Communication is important

An important finding from the survey is that internal communication about travel risks is underemphasized, despite it being an integral part of risk management. Implementing a structural communication plan is the only way to ensure an effective risk management programme. Communication is therefore key.

The survey specifically asked which challenges companies experienced during the 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels, Berlin, Tunisia and Turkey. The greatest challenges that require additional attention were:

  • Communication (reported by 43% of respondents)
  • Access to information about the situation (reported by 43% of respondents)
  • Awareness of roles and responsibilities (reported by 30% of respondents)
  • Location of employees (reported by 30% of respondents)
  • Assistance on the ground (reported by 27% of respondents)

Applying theory to practice

All organizations hold annual evacuation drills, which is the perfect way to test whether in-house emergency responders know what to do in an emergency and whether employees respond accordingly. Unfortunately, exercises like these are always limited to the business location. Emergency drills are rarely organized for employees who travel regularly. Which steps should organizations take if corporate travellers are involved in an emergency situation while abroad? If emergency plans exist, they are often limited to a theoretical description of what everyone should do. But have these steps been tested in real life?

Where are the travellers?

We live in uncertain times, which makes it important to have risk management measures in place for international travel. Develop robust communication procedures to inform employees, make sure all relevant information is available and practice the theory in real-life situations. Travel management companies like Munckhof play an important role in these processes. They have access to information and data that organizations need, such as travel advisories and flight information, an overview of traveller whereabouts, and partnerships with on-site travel agents.

The International SOS survey reveals that more steps need to be taken in order to optimize risk management for international travellers. How does your organization fare?

Source: International SOS 

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