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Risk Management in a Pandemic

As part of week 6 of the Collaboratory 2020 webinar series, GBTA Interim-Executive Director Dave Hilfman hosted risk management expert Miriam Jones from International SOS. In her role as Senior Vice President & General Manager, Western U.S., for International SOS, Jones advises organizations on developing and managing best-in-class duty of care programs that mitigate health and safety risks facing their global employees and operations.


Key takeaways from the webinar include:


  • Risk management is not just about mitigating travel-associated risks. It’s mission critical for companies to begin expanding their risk management program from a travel risk management program to a people risk management program. Smart companies are using this time to think through and develop programs around all potential employee risks, not just COVID-19.
  • Employee safety and security is tied to productivity. The pandemic has moved many to home offices, and this has changed the types of pressures employees are experiencing. Companies should look at changes from a duty of care lens: What emotional support mechanisms should we be providing? How can we keep employees motivated and engaged, from a distance? How do we need to change our support structure? Assessing and caring for mental health risks is now, more than ever, a critical component of a people risk management program.
  • Employees have an appetite for more information. People want more up-to-date health and safety information and are considering it as “need-to-know,” not just “nice-to-know.” Use this as an opportunity to create risk mitigation procedures and build them into your policy.
  • Planning to travel is much more complex now than in the past, but there are helpful resources available. In a world with masks, required testing, contact tracing, and travel regulations that differ by country, and even by state in the U.S., tracking down accurate, timely travel information can be difficult. Partnering with an assistance program, like International SOS as an example, can be a force multiplier for your company and provide vital resources like current travel restrictions, screening measures, and even live support from health, safety, and security experts.


“Duty of care has always been top of mind for companies with robust travel programs, but the pandemic has brought about new risks for all employees, not just those who travel,” said Jones. “Now all companies are realizing they have the responsibility of ensuring their employees are safe, in any working situation.”


Upcoming Webinar Topics:

October 12 – 16: WINiT by GBTA

October 19 – 23: Mobility & Transportation

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