There is no business to be had without risk. We embrace some element of risk in our strategic decisions and we try where we can, to minimise our risk level where possible. The trick is to embrace risk, expect that you will encounter it at some stage. By expecting to face risk, you factor it into your decisions and are proactively dealing with it.
But business travel risk… How many of us take a systematic approach to travel risk management? Do you think it’s part of your duty, in HR, to highlight this in the organisational agenda? Do you know exactly what the full ambit of your organisational duty of care entails?
At an HR roundtable we held earlier this week at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, a diverse group of HR practitioners took a look at these issues. We exchanged some horror stories, had a good laugh and managed to get some interesting insights.
- Did you know that the top two causes of serious cases for business travellers were related to accident & injury (21% of serious cases*) and cardiovascular and circulatory system diseases (15%)?
- A number of the participants expressed how lucky they were that, to date, very few untoward incidents had taken place in their own organisation.
- It was mentioned that a few countries have stringent laws in place that effectively guide how organisations are dealing with the issue of business travel and its inherent risks.
One of the big issues discussed was how organisations could be more proactive in managing these situations. What was clear was that despite the lack of untoward incidents for some, this would clearly not suffice as a plan. While almost all participants agreed that the organisation had a duty and a responsibility to protect and ensure their business travelers had safe journeys, few had systematic and rigorous programmes in place to deal with it and many were interested to hear how else they could strengthen their situation.
Dr Philippe Guibert, Regional Medical Director, Consulting Services at International SOS Singapore gave us two tips on how to actively manage this. Firstly, you need to do a mapping of your exposure. Secondly, you need to consider all the likely scenarios where these risks could be. Some of the key challenges to effective business travel that Dr Guibert outlined include :-
- Underestimation of risks by employee
- Distorted perspective of risks
- Fragmentation of responsibility
- Status of travel management
- Staying up to date
And the single most important deal-breaker? Well, there was no single element. Many cited cost obviously. But many of the participants also cited lack of awareness and stakeholder management as possible issues. More in the April issue of HR Matters Magazine.
*Source : International SOS