STRUGGLING TO GET LEADERSHIP SUPPORT TO IMPLEMENT OR IMPROVE A TRAVEL RISK MANAGEMENT (TRM) PROGRAM? – TRY THIS!
As the person responsible for your organization’s Travel Program, you may be in a very typical situation trying to get leadership to talk about or focus on travel risk and implementing a process to mitigate travel risk.
Typically, you are aware there is a need for an end-to-end travel risk mitigation solution for your organization in order to meet social and legal obligations associated with duty of care for the business traveler. Or, you are aware that the current travel risk resources or process in place is minimal and needs to be more comprehensive.
How do you get the attention of leadership and gain their support in moving forward with an end-to-end travel risk solution or take your existing program to the next level?
Is This Your Leadership’s Position on Travel Risk Management?
Often leadership feels the level of travel risk within the company is minimal-to-none, and often times they think “ we have not had any issues; there has not been an incident concerning a traveler or expatriate…….so where is the concern?” And, perhaps they even feel the organization is probably capable of responding with the necessary support for the traveler given the help of the Travel Management Company (TMC) under contract. But, is the organization truly prepared to provide that support?
Validate the Level of Support
I’m sure most of you have heard the adage, “the proof is in the pudding”. A typical definition of this means you really don’t know the quality of something until you have tried, used or experienced it. With that thought, has your organization’s capabilities been tested to respond to a travel-related incident, even if there has never been a real need yet?
A suggested solution to gain the attention and support of leadership is to conduct a mock drill wherein you are responding to an incident concerning a business traveler. Once you have approval for the mock drill, create a brief and “realistic” incident (health or security related) involving one or multiple business travelers and then conduct a table-top exercise to “play out” how the organization will respond and support the traveler(s). This is a great way to validate the actual level of support that exists within your organization. The following is a simplistic blueprint to follow for a mock drill.
First, it is vitally important you have the appropriate business areas represented at the exercise, i.e. HR, Health, Safety, Security, Legal, Leadership from the business area with majority of travelers, etc. These are typical business areas that would need to be involved in responding and supporting the traveler and internal organizational processes. And, of course, you need to have Sr. leadership at the table who will be decision-makers regarding travel risk mitigation.
Keep in mind the purpose of this mock-drill is not to scare or alarm anyone. The purpose is to 1) understand the level of assistance your organization is prepared to provide to the traveling employee, 2) to gain knowledge of where gaps exist in your procedure to support the traveler, and 3) what steps need taken to mitigate identified gaps.
The final step in your mock drill is the gap analysis or “audit” of the organization’s level of support for the traveler. This analysis will validate the areas where gaps exist, how critical those gaps are to the health and security of the traveler, as well as the brand and financial health of the organization. You may opt to provide the analysis to leadership, or you may seek contracted resources who are specialist in travel risk mitigation to assist you in all stages of the mock drill.
With this exercise, you may quickly gain the attention of leadership to support you and others within the organization to spend time, contract resources, and implement a comprehensive travel risk management program. Try it!!
Remember that gaps in traveler support are potential risks, which are potential liability concerns for the financial health of the company.