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Risk management is an essential element of corporate travel management at large. Businesses that aren’t proactive in ensuring the health and safety of their business travellers, and that don’t include comprehensive and strategic risk management procedures into their corporate travel policy, expose themselves to a number of financial and legal risks. 

Unfortunately, risk management is becoming increasingly challenging as global security risks diversify. Below are three risk management strategies that businesses should consider in their corporate travel management policies.

 

1. Identifying the Threats to Travelling Staff

Before businesses can bolster their risk management procedures and strengthen their corporate travel policies, it’s integral they understand the diversifying threats facing staff travellers today. 

In July 2016, the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), delivered a stirring call to arms that highlighted the threat of global terrorism to business travellers around the world. 

“For all of us in the travel industry, we feel a deep sense of ownership when lives are violently taken in our airports, our skies and places we have all travelled to, both for business and for leisure,” he said. 

Furthermore, a Collinson Group study revealed an increasing volume of business travellers visiting high-risk destinations, and highlighted the unpredictability of global threats. 

“In an indication of the fast-changing nature of global events, a number of countries perceived as being traditionally less risky received level three alerts in the first half of 2015,” it reads. 

“Collinson Group is advising employers to review their corporate travel policies and consider what mechanisms they have in place to respond to a broadening array of emergency scenarios.” 

Devastating as it is, global terrorism is far from the only threat facing today’s business travellers. Information security is rapidly emerging as one of the biggest threats facing corporate travellers, especially given that individuals are two-to-four times more likely to suffer identity crime while in transit.

 

2. Using Emergency Communication Tools in Staff Travel Risk Management

Once businesses have a holistic understanding of the threats facing their staff travellers, they should consider their systems and processes in a worst-case scenario. While this may seem like a reactive approach to risk management whereby businesses only account for threats once they’ve occurred, effective emergency communication tools are also vital in mitigating risk to staff travellers.

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Corporate travel management software like the Travelport Locomote platform includes powerful risk management features like Beacon employee tracking, automated workflows that alert travel managers of high-risk destinations, passport and visa control and comprehensive emergency communication tools. Furthermore, travel managers can implement additional approval steps for staff who intend to travel to high-risk destinations, and be proactive and personalised in their risk management should that travel go ahead. 

 

3. Educating Employees On Their Role in Corporate Travel Risk Management

Businesses are responsible for educating corporate travellers on the risk management systems and processes in their corporate travel policy. They also have a responsibility to be proactive in educating travellers on how they can protect themselves overseas. Risk education programs should not only teach travelling employees correct emergency procedures, but also strategies in proactive risk mitigation. 

For example, Paige Schaffer, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Identity and Digital Protection Unit at Generali Global Assistance stresses the traveller’s role in protecting their data. 

“Businesses need to arm travelling employees with the tools and strategies to protect their personal identities while in transit,” she says.

Proactive information security controls like avoiding unsecured networks, enabling two-step verification on email accounts and removing smartphone applications containing potentially sensitive data should become the responsibility of travellers in a strategic risk management program. 

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