By Christine Connolley, Crisis Program Manager, Global Crisis Management
Traveler well-being has consistently ranked as the second top travel program priority, behind Duty of Care in recent BCD Travel surveys.
While there are many ways to address traveler wellness while on the road, focusing on your travel risk management program is a great place to start. Beyond safety and security, an effective travel risk management program should be focused on traveler health and well-being. If your travelers often don’t feel safe while traveling, it can lead to adverse physical and mental health effects including:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lost productivity
- Feelings of isolation
- Increased stress and fatigue
- Burn-out, apathy, reluctance to travel
To demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness, organizations can take steps to develop their travel risk programs that prioritize traveler wellness by improving traveler safety. Some initiatives include:
Reducing common travel risks
According to BCD Travel’s Travel Risk Survey, when travelers do feel unsafe, 43% said it was when driving in an unfamiliar location and 40% felt this way when using public transportation. Plus, did you know that road accidents are the top death/injury risk to business travelers? There are plenty of ways to make travelers feel safer and reduce that risk, such as limiting driving after long-haul flights, using car services, or providing suggestions for alternate transportation. It could be as simple as including rideshare options in your policy.
Screening hotels in high-risk destinations
When sending employees to high-risk locations, it’s important to assure them that they will be staying somewhere safe. Considering safety measures during the RFP process for hotels is a great way to indicate which properties are best for your travelers. If your travelers often frequent certain high-risk areas, it can even be helpful to hire a third party assistance provider to visit in person and evaluate proof of property safety.
It’s also important to take into account hotels that include fitness centers and consider reimbursement for access to gyms, when hotels do not have facilities. This is a great way to show travelers that you care about their health just as much as their safety.
Beyond ensuring your travelers are safe and healthy while on the road, it’s important to consider allowing adequate time off to recover from business trips. Often, travel times are outside of normal business hours or even on the weekend. Stress, fatigue, and low productivity are common for travelers who feel required to immediately return back to work following a business trip, especially when traveling across different time zones.
Help your travelers ease back into work after returning from a business trip. We recommend following up with employees when they return to solicit feedback about their experience, not just about the travel experience, but include questions on aspects of wellness and safety. If the employee experienced a security or medical incident that resulted in trauma, injury, or illness, determine how to best support the employee, and respond with the appropriate resources. It’s also important to monitor annual travel days for your most frequent travelers to avoid burnout or a decrease in job satisfaction.
Ready to get started?
Advito’s Traveler Security Program Assessment can improve your program by signaling to your employees that your organization prioritizes a culture where the health, safety, and security of its employees are important. This, in turn, leads to a positive effect on your corporate reputation, competitiveness, staff turnover, talent acquisition, business continuity, and organizational resilience. Contact our team today to learn more.