Friday, 11 November 2016

GUEST BLOG: FIVE THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE SENDING AN EMPLOYEE ABROAD

Meeting duty of care obligations when an employee travels abroad is much more than a box-ticking exercise – and it needs to start well before an assignment overseas.

1.         Health
Be prepared for every eventuality – and go well beyond pre-travel vaccinations. Just for a start, you need to think about the current health needs of your employee/s: for instance, do they rely on regular prescriptions or are they diabetic - and do accompanying family members suffer from any medical conditions?  Also find out about the capabilities and limitations of local routine medical and dental care in situ. Will it meet your employee’s needs or will you have to provide access to extra support? And you’ll need to know about the prevalence of contagious diseases, rabid dogs, poisonous stings and unsafe drinking water, as well as the suitability and accessibility of emergency care. Above all, make sure your employee/s can take the right precautions and knows exactly what to do and who to contact in an emergency.



2.         Security
Find out if the political situation is stable and if conflict or terrorism is likely to strike in the future – and remember that things can change quickly. Is it safe for your employee to walk around alone at night or during the day, or is kidnapping and mugging prevalent? Do they know how to avoid unwelcome attention and cultural clashes?  What about protecting themselves against credit card or mobile phone cloning or insecure Wi-Fi networks? It’s up to you to have the right processes in place to keep them safe and to make sure they know how to mitigate risk and react to security threats.

3.         Environment
Get advice about the climate: is there a danger of excessive heat or cold? Are earthquakes, hurricanes or floods likely? Let your employee/s know the procedure if a natural disaster strikes. And educate them about heatstroke and other heat-related problems, or how best to cope in plunging temperatures.

4.         Emergency assistance
How will you locate your employee/s if an emergency strikes? Could an evacuation be implemented quickly and what would it involve? How do you know that your emergency planning will work? Will your staff know exactly what to do? A matter of minutes can turn a minor incident into a catastrophe - but planning ahead with real-life scenarios can help to avert this.

5.         Reassurance
Make sure your employee/s feel supported and prepared, not just for their destinations but also for their journeys. Many employers forget that travel itself can be hazardous, especially if it involves crossing high-risk countries. Anticipate the risks before a deployment overseas and put in place the appropriate safeguards, training and procedures. You won’t just be meeting duty of care obligations, you’ll also be investing in a safe and productive workforce.



This post was written by Jonathan Brown, Risk Team Manager at CEGA, the global risk, assistance and claims specialists. CEGA and Solace Global are exhibiting their integrated medical and security assistance service, INtrinsic, at the Business Travel Show in February. Travel bookers, buyers and managers can register for a free pass at www.businesstravelshow.com 

Friday, 28 October 2016

GUEST BLOG: THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING EDUCATION ENGAGING AND RELEVANT

Education and training is an essential component for success if aspiring to change employee behaviour or increase the uptake of a company policy.
As a travel manager, you would like more employees to comply with your travel policy and, as a security manager, you would like more travellers to be safer when on the road, as well as knowing what to do if something goes wrong.

Education and training can be conducted formally or informally – in an ideal world the former approach is preferable for legal and compliance reasons. However, an effective solution should be dictated by an organisation’s culture and delivered in a way that fully engages employees. 

Traditionally, a formal approach is achieved through tracked eLearning modules or registered classroom sessions. Some organisations use proof of training as a travel policy control and will not allow their TMCs to process an employee’s booking unless a training certificate is presented or verified. 
Another technique, in a bid to promote general awareness and behavioural change, is to employ informal methods such as short engaging videos and gamification. The approach taken, whether formal or informal, will reflect an organisation’s culture, but offering some form of training to employees is always preferable to providing nothing at all.
Conducting the same old training each year can be boring – keeping content fresh and interesting will engage and encourage your employees to be safer and more compliant with your policies. 
The beTravelwise team aims to make travel safety training an interesting and interactive experience for all employees, so we've put together the five-minute ‘Travel Wise’ game, inviting, corporate travellers to test – and refresh – their travel safety knowledge by answering multiple choice questions on 10 pertinent topics that cover every aspect of their journey: pre-travel booking, things to know before you travel, packing, arrivals, vehicles, at the hotel, health, free time, medical support and home again.
You can find the game here: http://betravelwise.com/travelwisegame/
The current buzz word in business travel is ‘personalisation’ and by making education relevant and accessible to your employees you will deliver a better and safer travel experience for all stakeholders. 

beTravelwise is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show in 2017 - 22-23 February at London's Olympia Grand. Buyers can register for a free pass now at www.businesstravelshow.com

About Andy Prior
Andy Prior, Director and Co-Founder of beTravelwise, is passionate about all aspects of travel risk management. He has extensive experience in assisting multinational clients across several industries globally, having worked for International SOS as the firm’s EMEA Regional Security Manager. He is passionate about travel and has visited 80 countries worldwide. Before specialising in travel risk management, he spent six years as a British Army Officer. He has a BA (Hons) from Newcastle University and an MA from CASS Business School. He is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP). LinkedIn Profile.