Travel risk management: Best practices for your travel programme

Posted: 08 July 2020
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Irrespective of the size and nature of an organisation, employers must support the health, safety, and security of their employees who travel for business. In 2020, we’ve already seen a global health crisis, political uncertainty, and natural disasters affecting travel. Now more than ever, it’s vital for businesses to have comprehensive travel risk management policies in place.

Your business will likely be building a set of risk-mitigating policies for your travellers and programme me overall. As part of this process, you’ll need to assess and review the risks associated with each trip. You’ll also need to plan for how your business will assist travellers pre, during, and post-travel.

Look closely at each of the following risk management pillars to get the insights you need to strengthen your travel policy, minimize your traveler risk, and support your business’ needs.

  1. ASSESS: Evaluate and mitigate the risks associated with each business trip by reviewing policy setup
  • Block specific air destinations: Define high-risk routes or destinations as out of policy or block the ability to book flights to specific destinations to ensure your travellers don’t take any unnecessary risks

Key insight: Since January 2020, we’ve witnessed an over 210 percent increase in customers setting up out of policy destinations to limit or forbid travel to high-risk locations.

  • Update traveller limit: Limit the number of travellers on the same flight by updating your organisation’s travel policy.
  • Review approval settings: Normally, we’d encourage you to empower your travellers to book without the friction of additional approval processes. But in times of crisis, it’s essential to conduct a risk assessment and review how additional approval can ensure managers are aware of any planned business trips and take informed decisions accordingly. You can then revert those settings easily once the situation goes back to normal.

Key insight: Since January 2020, we’ve witnessed an 83 percent increase in customers setting up security approval to support traveler safety, even before they book.

  • Remind travellers to update their contact information: travellers’ mobile numbers and emergency contact information should be up to date in their Egencia profiles. You need the latest information to help you contact them more easily during a crisis. While this can’t be made mandatory in all countries, it is a field that travel managers can encourage travellers to complete in profile creation.

Watch this webinar on best practices for reducing employee travel risk before, during, and after a trip.

  1. ASSIST: Understand how to locate, contact, and support travellers if there's an emergency
  • Egencia Traveler Tracker: Locate all your travellers' bookings in real-time by viewing all scheduled travel at a glance and filtering for specific locations, airlines, or time frames. Access all your travellers’ information and contact them quickly by generating an email from the tool or downloading the contact list.
  • Traveller messages: Choose the specific alerts you want to share on your organisation’s Egencia homepage or create contextual messages that link to specific types of bookings (air, hotel, rail, or car) or travel destinations.
  • Travel alerts: Make sure travellers download the mobile app to ensure they will receive alerts via push notifications while traveling and can easily see any potential impacts to their trip.
  • Travel cancellations: Proactively stay on top of the evolving status of air and hotel bookings using the COVID-19 travel reporting hub. You can assess and mitigate the travel risk for both your travellers and business in the hub and share feedback with key stakeholders.
  • Egencia Advantage: In addition to the Egencia tool's capabilities, we've also partnered with ten duty of care providers for medical assistance, travel security, and insurance coverage. Read about some of the benefits below:
    • Allianz: Insurance is a critical topic as business travel drives contractual obligations that can impact revenue. When booking a flight, travellers can benefit from Allianz air travel insurance, available in North America, and 15 countries in EMEA (*terms, conditions, and exclusions apply).
    • International SOS: Use this suite of services to proactively manage travel risks and access tools that help support your travel risk management policies, including Site Monitor. View now.
    • WorldAware: Protect what matters the most by staying informed, so you can support your travellers to avoid and mitigate problems. Services include real-time global threat intelligence, 24x7 global assistance, and crisis response crisis. Read more.

Download our business travel safety checklist to learn how you can provide the best possible duty of care to your travellers.

  1. REVIEW: Enhance travel risk management strategies
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your current travel risk management plan: Get input from all departments involved in incident response to perform an after-action review.  The analysis of your organisation’s virus response can allow stakeholders to voice what went well and what still needs improving. For example, did your HR team find the Egencia Traveler Tracker reporting helpful? Or were some of the traveler details out of date? By pulling together this kind of feedback, you can work with your internal stakeholders to identify gaps and, in this instance, encourage travellers to update their contact information.
  • Collect traveler inputs/feedback: Talk to travellers who were directly affected by a crisis to get their unique viewpoints on how your organisation executed it's contingency plan. For example, send a survey asking travellers if they were provided with enough information before, during, and after their trip?

You may find that your policies need to evolve as you follow the three suggested steps. It could be that the review stage reveals a gap you missed, or simply that different countries update their restrictions. Whichever elements of your policies shift to support your risk-management planning, with Egencia you can be sure that your travellers can see what they need. Take NTT Singapore for example, "there were a lot of policies practiced within the company, so no one could hope to know them by heart. But with Egencia, you don’t need to memorize anything. The policy is right there in the platform,” Tricia Lim, executive VP of the corporate planning division, said.

Now you’ve taken steps to make your programme safer; you can start to address your travellers’ anxieties and prepare them for travel as individuals. Download the pre-travel safety checklist for travellers today.

Looking for better business travel solutions? Get in touch with our team.