Today, more companies and nonprofit organizations are sending employees and volunteers abroad on short and long term assignments. As the economy has globalized, so have the risks. Your organization’s Duty of Care obligations extend to your foreign-based and traveling staff, and their accompanying family members. An effective Travel Risk Management program is required to reduce the risk prevalent in the modern threat landscape that includes:
· Terrorism · Natural Disasters · Political Instability · Kidnapping · Civil Unrest · Piracy · Organized Crime · Epidemics & Medical Emergencies
Creating an effective Travel Risk Management (TRM) program is vital to meet Duty of Care obligations for a globally mobile workforce, and doing so is an essential element of Corporate Social Responsibility. Not only is properly addressing Duty of Care good for employee health, safety and security, it is also the right thing to do.
A negligent Duty of Care failure can have dire results that include harm to workers, business disruption, extended and costly litigation, and irreparable damage to brand image and public goodwill. In many Western countries, failure to meet Duty of Care can place an organization in legal jeopardy and, under certain circumstances, result in criminal charges against corporate management. In these countries, Duty of Care specifically extends to workers abroad on behalf of the employer.
If your organization does not yet have a Travel Risk Management program in place, AOC can assist you from initial strategic planning, through implementation and assessing effectiveness. We can also educate and train your workforce in the new TRM policies and procedures. This helps ensure a smooth rollout and increases compliance.
At AOC, we understand that travel security training for workers is an essential, yet often overlooked TRM component. Proper training in subjects like Situational Awareness, Threat Recognition and Avoidance, and Contingency Planning—to name just a few—serves as an on-the-ground TRM extension that can mitigate risk. Our training can be tailored for everyone from senior executives to field employees in austere locations, and can be delivered at a site of your choosing.
Imagine being at home as breaking news bulletins late in the evening inform you of a sudden crisis erupting in a foreign city where you have employees. This happens more often than we would like given today’s threat climate.
Lacking Travel Risk Management, you are in an entirely reactive mode. Who do you call? Are your employees safe? What would you do if they were in danger, and how would you even know? How will you get them out?
Now imagine the same situation after you have established an effective and efficient TRM program. Internal information begins flowing to you before the first reports hit the airwaves. Employees start checking in. Rehearsed crisis management plans are activated, and the appropriate resources are brought to bear.
As events unfold, senior executive leadership and your Public Relations department—part of your TRM and crisis planning—reassures the media and general public that you have planned for such a contingency and those plans are being executed.
Preventing incidents through a proactive TRM program is much less costly than dealing with them later. But if a crisis occurs, your organization is ready. When your deployed employees understand this, they are more confident in their foreign assignments. Resulting publicity is likely to be more positive, preserving or even enhancing reputation and brand image.
Most importantly, you are meeting your Duty of Care obligations to your workforce.