In a globally connected world, business travel is essential. But it comes with the chance that your people will face risks. These range from natural disasters to civil unrest and war. Mistakes can cost your company, big time, but experts say you can manage those risks and deliver on your Duty of Care if you think ahead of time – in detail – about the landscape you’re entering.
Recently Troy Lockyer, managing director of Lockforce, talked with Australian Mining, an industry magazine and website,about the challenges of sending business travelers out into an uncertain world. Lockyer has 19 years of military experience, and has consulted to resource companies all over the world, including Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America.
Lockyer told the magazine’s Megan Edwardsthat the three biggest things he advises companies to be aware of before sending staff overseas to work are:
- Research or risk assessments
- Detailed security, safety and cultural sensitivity issues specific to the country where the travelers will be working
- A robust communication policy and procedure. He said it should be written, implemented, tested and exercised to promote a culture of travel safety and security.
And here’s the thing. You might think only certain people in an organization need to know the information developed that way, but Lockyer says it has to go well beyond a small group of travelers and managers. He says everyone within your organization should be briefed whether they travel or not. We immediately got an image of one person working in an office on a Saturday when a call comes in from a traveler halfway around the world, in a country where an earthquake, storm, or riot have suddenly changed all of the reference points. That home office employee would need this knowledge as a starting point.
Lockyer’s top piece of advice to Australian Mining is that an organization should establish a travel or journey management plan prior to any deployment, make sure everyone knows it, and stick to the plan if something happens. In a constantly changing world, that’s excellent counsel.
Messaging from Concur would be a valuable tool to add into the mix here. It can help an organization find its people in a crisis zone, and establish two way communication to get them help, or get them out.