Pourquoi le bien-être devrait être un élément clé de chaque politique de devoir de diligence

Billet de blog du comité des risques GBTA – mai 2021

With the entire business travel industry being turn upside down due to the pandemic, this is an opportunity for a fresh restart in every aspect of business travel, including duty of care and risk management.  There are many choices to be made right now and one of them is to either go back to how things were done before or to use this time to reshape duty of care across the entire business travel industry.

Il est maintenant temps de redéfinir le risque des voyageurs et la place du bien-être dans le devoir de diligence, car l'un des points positifs de la pandémie mondiale a été de propulser le bien-être et les soins personnels au premier plan de toutes les industries, en particulier du monde de l'entreprise.

 

Épidémie d'épuisement professionnel des guerriers de la route pré-Covid

Every company has a duty of care and risk management policy in place but there was a huge void when it came to wellbeing which is a huge mistake.  I guess the first question for companies to ask themselves is “what does risk mean to us?” If it only refers to missed flights, emergency situations, covid guidelines and restrictions, and the usual risk mitigations that ultimately keep travelers physically safe and help the company’s bottom line then, this article is for you.

Risk management should be anything that involves the traveler’s health, safety, and the betterment of the company as a whole.  Doesn’t that include productivity, company culture, mental and physical health, and work performance?  It should.

Before Covid hit, there was a soaring burnout epidemic among business travelers which ultimately negatively impacted the traveler’s overall wellbeing and work performance.  This directly effects the overall company success, or lack there of.

Harvard Business Review a déclaré que "l'épuisement professionnel représente environ $125 milliards à $190 milliards de dépenses de santé chaque année" et que "87% de voyageurs estiment que la qualité de leurs voyages d'affaires a un impact sur leurs résultats commerciaux" dans leur étude de 2018 sur les voyages d'affaires .

Parmi l'épidémie d'épuisement professionnel, les guerriers de la route étaient aux prises avec un large éventail de problèmes de santé, notamment l'obésité, une consommation accrue d'alcool, de mauvaises habitudes de sommeil, l'hypertension, le tabagisme et, bien sûr, des niveaux élevés d'anxiété et de stress.

Au fil du temps, ces problèmes peuvent entraîner des risques de maladies chroniques et peuvent créer des coûts accrus pour les employeurs, notamment des réclamations médicales plus élevées, une baisse de la productivité des employés, une invalidité de courte durée et l'absentéisme, qui ont tous le potentiel de tendre ou de rompre les relations avec les fournisseurs et les clients (Harvard revue d'entreprise, 2018).

“Almost 75% of the staff reported high or very high stress related to business travel” reported the World Bank Study.   It’s no secret that heightened stress levels can play a negative role on how we conduct business and reach our goals.

 

Le risque d'être risqué

Because we essentially have a clean slate right now, that doesn’t mean that we can’t look at our past to help reshape our policies moving forward.   Since personal wellbeing was put on the back burner when it came to duty of care and risk management of business travelers, the burnout epidemic was born and lead to poor mental health, high turnover rates, poor company culture, productivity loss, and lost engagement.

Frequent business trips can be a threat to a person’s health and it has shown over the years through research.  The American Institute of Stress reported in a 2018 study that “work-related stress cost businesses $300 billion a year” and the World Health Organization stated that “depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.”.

Burnout costs employers millions of dollars in lost productivity, low engagement, increased errors and more safety incidents which directly corelates with risk management (Harvard Business Review, 2019).  So why isn’t a traveler’s mental and overall personal wellbeing factored into every risk management plan?

 

Qu'est-ce que le devoir de vigilance ?

Selon TravelPerk, "le devoir de diligence est une politique d'entreprise et une exigence légale garantissant que les entreprises se consacrent à la sécurité et au bien-être physiques et émotionnels de leurs employés" et que "la gestion des risques liés aux voyages est la stratégie qui remplit cette obligation. C'est le plan d'action qui donne les soins que les entreprises ont le devoir de donner ».

Alors pourquoi n'en fait-on pas plus en matière de bien-être ?

La gestion des risques impliquait historiquement la santé et la sécurité, les vols manqués ou annulés, les documents et exigences de voyage, les accidents, les maladies en voyage, la sécurité incendie, les plans de catastrophe naturelle, les soins médicaux, les évacuations, la discrimination et l'intimidation, la violence, la gestion du stress, et maintenant les réglementations covid et protocoles de sécurité.

C'est un engagement d'une entreprise à prendre soin de ses employés et de tout ce que cela implique et doit s'aligner sur les valeurs et les besoins de votre entreprise, ce qui inclut probablement le bien-être de ses employés et le succès global de l'entreprise. Non?

 

Le problème

There has been a huge void in the traveler wellbeing approach, mostly because duty of care and risk management policies remained in constructed boxes and wellbeing wasn’t looked at as a risk.   But, times are changing, as are traveler behaviors and needs.

TripActions wrote in their blog about duty of care that “the importance of this goes much deeper than legal obligations, and in many cases your own standards should exceed baseline requirements”.  They went on to say that “duty of care is also a matter of realizing that employees’ physical and mental well-being is essential to your company’s success”.

Le devoir de diligence doit être considéré comme un investissement à long terme dans le capital humain qui vise à améliorer la culture d'entreprise tout en contribuant au résultat net (TripActions, 2019)

It’s time to think outside of traditional legacy concepts centered around risk and duty of care and consider traveler’s wellbeing outside of health and safety concerns.  After all, isn’t a person’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing just as important as their physical safety and whereabouts?

 

Il est temps pour un changement

Les employés veulent savoir que leur entreprise les reconnaît en tant qu'êtres humains et leur bien-être.

Dans le guide Mitigate Travel Burnout d'American Express Global Business Travel, ils disent «d'aller au-delà des informations et des alertes de santé spécifiques à la destination et d'éduquer les employés sur la façon de faire des choix plus sains sur la route. Même de simples rappels sur ce qu'il faut éviter au restaurant et les étirements/exercices qu'ils peuvent faire en déplacement peuvent stimuler des comportements positifs ».

En ce qui concerne le bien-être des voyageurs, cela va bien au-delà des options de repas sains, des applications jet leg, des salles de sport d'hôtel et des instructeurs de yoga et de pleine conscience. Il s'agit d'exploiter les avantages éprouvés du voyage pour le bien-être et d'équiper et d'éduquer correctement les voyageurs pour un voyage d'affaires réussi qui a un impact positif sur leurs objectifs personnels et professionnels.

“It’s like training a business traveler like an athlete,” says Scott Gillespie, a business travel industry data expert.  It’s about teaching travelers to be responsible for their overall wellbeing while on the road and to get to know the traveler on a deeper and more personal level.  After all, the concept of a “personalized” experience is constantly talked about in the business travel industry but, what does “personalized” really mean?

Travelers seek empathy, compassion, and understanding from their company and those in charge of their business trips.   The role of the travel manager is evolving just like booking agents to a more lifestyle and guidance role.  “The travel agent of the future is an expert, a specialist, a therapist and someone to lean on” says Bonnie Smith, the GM at FCM Travel Solutions South Africa.

According to a 2019 Hilton Hotel survey on business travel, “46% of biz travelers say that their company doesn’t consider their personal lives when asking them to travel, 84% of young business travelers say that they cherish their alone time during business trips, and 73% report that they have a better experience when they spend downtime on their own”.  Companies should optimize on this information and help travelers boost their wellbeing while on a trip rather than deteriorate it.

Vous avez probablement entendu parler du terme "voyage utile" dans l'industrie du voyage d'affaires. Que signifie un voyage utile pour votre entreprise ? Quelle est l'intention du voyage d'affaires, y compris le bien-être personnel du voyageur ? Comment un voyageur peut-il tirer le meilleur parti d'une expérience ?

With the potential of fewer business trips in the future, it’s important to make the most out of each one and obtain the most amount of value in them.  Now, let’s dive into why and how travel can be used to help reduce risk while helping companies thrive.

 

 

Le pouvoir du voyage sur notre bien-être

Travel has proven to improve our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing which is something that business travelers clearly need.  The healthier that we are both inside and out, the better we can perform in our jobs.

Studies show that travel has the ability to decrease stress and anxiety.  Resilience, cultivating gratitude, generosity, breathing techniques like meditation, slow-paced activities like hikes in nature are all things that are believed to lower stress, which are all things that travel brings.  Visiting blue spaces, meaning bodies of water, is important to people who are seeking to unwind. “We know this simply from analyzing people’s habits, in terms of where they tend to visit and what they tend to value. For example, we know that people spend more money on hotel rooms with sea views,” said BlueHeath in the Washington Post.  The BlueHealth project found that short but regular time spent in blue spaces, such as a daily 20-minute walk along a seafront, cumulatively boosts long-term well-being. Therapeutic landscapes like forests, mountains, and calming sea sides may help to decrease the risk of psychosocial stress-related diseases (U.S National Library of Medicine).

Traveling can inspire people to be more active by partaking in activities such as hiking, going for a walk in nature, exploring a new city, or swimming.  It can also improve your physical wellbeing by boosting your immunity, contrary to popular belief right now. “Travel exposes you to different environments which creates strong antibodies and boost your immune system significantly” said Matador Network.  The salty sea water is known to help reduce inflammation while the salty sea air can help improve respiration.  Also, fetting a daily dose of sunshine can aid in bone health through Vitamin D.

Traveling can help give your emotional and spiritual wellbeing a boost as well by building an emotional preparedness to be receptive of others while deepening compassion and empathy.  We all currently crave human and social interaction, both which are essential to effective business travel and our mental wellbeing.

 

Utiliser le voyage comme outil pour exceller dans notre performance au travail

Research shows that intentional travel can increase work performance, spark creativity and innovation, and increase the quality of our work. The changing of environments and engaging with new people with different perspectives and backgrounds can spark new ideas and build relationships.   Scientists say that travel makes you more creative by breaking creative stagnation and getting your creative juices flowing.  International experiences and fresh cultural scenes can also open the mind to creative thinking.

Travel introduces discovery, shared group experiences, a sense of deep learning, and the ability to unplug.   “You’ll be amazed at what you can do when you’re unplugged—and what your people have accomplished when you plug back in. I can personally attest, you’ll be a more confident and better leader because of it” said Jim Moffatt, the CEO of Deloitte Consulting.

 

Étapes à suivre ensuite

What do you do with this information and change in mindset around risk management and duty of care?  Here are some ideas to consider for your company.

American Express Global Business Travel recommends adopting a ‘bleisure’ policy and pre-trip health screening to better understand the traveler’s psychological wellbeing.  TravelPerk suggests that “a duty of care policy should research, document, warn, and train for any possible risks”.

Since travel risk assessments are already in place, think about integrating a more personal assessment to get to know the traveler on a more personal level.  Then, provide adequate and proper resources, education, and trainings to cover all bases including empowerment, wellbeing, rules, expectations, prevention, preparation, company culture, and more.  Remember, every traveler is unique and needs something different to thrive in their wellbeing and work-life.

Next, collect feedback and have effective communication with your travelers.  What is it that they truly need during their experience in order to reach their goals, and stay healthy and safe?  It’s also important to establish within your company whose role and responsibly it is when it comes to traveler wellbeing.  Is it the travel manager? Human resources? A wellbeing leader? A travel coach? Or a combination of people? Remember, collaboration is key.

C'est l'occasion d'un nouveau départ pour toutes les politiques de gestion des risques et de devoir de diligence afin que votre entreprise puisse se démarquer en tant que leader et que vos voyageurs soient heureux, prospères et en bonne santé.