Risk reimagined: Personalizing safety in business travel

Risk management traditionally has focused on destination-based risk, like avoiding war zones or hostile environments. But, it’s time to rethink that approach and include individual-based risk assessments.

Traveller with smartphone

By Christine Connolley, Senior Program Manager, Global Crisis Management, BCD Travel

In the realm of travel risk management, the concept of individual profile risk refers to the unique set of factors and characteristics associated with a specific traveler that might impact their safety and well-being during a trip. Do you know whether your organization currently considers individual-based risk for business travel? This may involve organizing specialized travel plans for your company’s CEO and C-suite, e.g., vetted hotels, ground transportation, and close protection. That’s just one example of actions that can be taken based on an individual’s risk profile. It acknowledges the heightened risk associated with their positions and personal profiles and implements measures to mitigate these risks.

Christine Connolley, Senior Program Manager, Global Crisis Management, BCD Travel

Traditionally, risk management has been focused on destination-based risk, like avoiding war zones or hostile environments. However, it’s time to shift the lens to include individual-based risk assessments – and it’s not just for the C-suite. Here are some other scenarios involving elevated risk based on individual profile:

  • An employee traveling to Israel with an Iranian passport.
  • A Chinese national traveling to certain African countries.
  • A wheelchair user traveling to an area without the infrastructure to support mobility.
  • An LGBTQIA+ employee traveling to Uganda.
  • An employee from Spain driving a rental car through the icy mountains of Canada.

3 ways to build safety into the travel program

While not every organization has the resources to review individual profiles for every journey, travel program stakeholders can take these actions now to weave the thread of safety through every aspect of your travel program:

  1. Create an organizational culture of safety: Establish a culture where safety is woven into every aspect of your travel program. Ensure your workforce feels seen and respected, where confidentiality and discretion are essential. When employees trust that their concerns will be handled with care, they are more likely to share issues related to safety and risk.
  2. Give employees the power to refuse travel: Recognize that you may not always know what factors might affect an employee’s level of risk. They might be gay but not open at work, or pregnant and not ready to share that information. It’s crucial to allow employees the option to refuse travel if they aren’t comfortable or if there are safety concerns. They should be able to make this choice without having to explain.
  3. Provide accessible information and support: Make it easy for employees to access information that might be relevant in keeping them safe on business trips. This includes training, destination information, and support from any third-party assistance providers.

Schedule a Traveler Security Program Assessment

Nothing is more important to an organization than its employees. Keeping people safe at work and when they travel can seem daunting. But, a Traveler Security Program Assessment can help you figure out how to do that, while also protecting the company’s assets, reputation and business continuity. Developed by our consulting branch Advito, the assessment aligns your organization’s travel risk program with ISO 31030 guidelines. The assessment provides insights into where your program stands today. It is fully customized, taking into consideration your organizational flow and structure, risks specific to your organization and industry, and your organization’s corporate culture.

To arrange an assessment and get advice on travel risk management strategies, BCD clients can contact their program manager or complete the interest form at the button below.

Not a BCD client? Contact us.

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