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A Long Road – Looking After Your Traveling Employees

– Contributed content –

Airline passenger


31 May 2019. It’s part of the landscape now; if you want to make a good impression with clients and customers you’ve got to get out there. In many ways, we can be over-reliant on the technology, and the numerous conference calls that come with the running a business. If we really want to get out there and see the business landscape, we’ve got to get our employees in cars, on trains, and in planes.

As such, this means we need to look after our employees while they’re on the road. After all, the act of traveling can be pretty exhausting, and when you factor into this the very act of doing work and keeping up their end of the bargain, it can be a very overwhelming component. How can we look after our employees better?

A travel policy

Employees need to know their travel policy. This is something that needs creating if you haven’t done so already. The employees need to know the company travel policy and read it cover to cover. For an easy paper trail, one central travel booking platform needs to be used which can also raise any potential issues, especially in terms of risky trips.

What’s important throughout the preparation process is that the travel policy is adhered to, but also, there is a significant paper trail, in case there are any issues in the act of preparing the journeys. For example, if there are administrative errors in terms of time zones, where a travel time has been booked according to their time zone, and not yours; these things need rectifying as soon as possible.

An adequate risk assessment

This needs to be part and parcel of any long journey, but when an employee is traveling a long-distance, we’ve got to undertake a proper risk assessment, taking into account the traveler’s age and experience. We need to look at the main risks associated with the country, as well as factors like cultural differences.

Travel safety training

There are numerous factors at play here, including the outcome of the risk assessment, as well as looking at the main risks for that journey. Highlighting the high-risk areas, the right hotel, what sort of transport can be used, are all things that you need to query. Technology can prove to be essential at this juncture. If you have employees going on high-risk trips, establishing consistent contact is vital.

What you can do is load details of the trip onto an app which they can access from their smartphone. This can give them an itinerary but gives you the opportunity to check that they are okay. In addition to this, you can ask the employee to check in at certain checkpoints, for example, when they arrive at a specific destination.

Catering to their needs

Having a very rigorous process can help, but if there are aspects that the employee doesn’t feel comfortable with, we’ve got to cater to their needs. If an employee doesn’t feel safe traveling by train or plane, and they insist on using a car, it is our duty to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. But of course, with any type of travel comes different risk assessments.

Traveling long journeys by car can be exhausting, and can increase the likelihood of an altercation on the road. It’s important that the employee knows the differences, especially if they are driving in a different country and uncomfortable with the rules of the road there, because it doesn’t take long until an accident arises, and a truck accident lawyer or legal representatives need to get involved, which means that the finger can be pointed at the business for not undertaking the relevant precautions. It’s a fine balance, so we have to look after the needs of the business, but also make the journey a smooth one, physically and emotionally, for the employee.

Checking the security risks

A certain amount of basic training should be delivered to employees undertaking a journey for the business, especially when going into high-risk locations. And as there are different security risks depending on the country, employers have to look at the risks in real time. Acquiring information from a credible resource is beneficial, but it’s also a good idea to have an idea of the approval process based on that particular country.

If there are countries that exceed an acceptable level of risk, it’s the responsibility of the employee and the employer to see if the trip is worth undertaking. After all, it’s the safety of your employees it is paramount. If it’s a journey that’s not worth undertaking, is it really necessary?

Making sure the employee knows how to raise a distress call

If an employee finds themselves in hot water and they need help, they need to know how to raise a distress call. Usually, it would be via a mobile telephone, but if an employee is in a precarious position, they may not be able to use this. There are apps that can be used in times of distress that discreetly raises the alarm, but also highlights where they are by using the mobile phone’s GPS.

And in addition to these, it’s about making sure the employee is looking after themselves while undertaking these journeys. Health can go out of the window when undertaking a lot of travel. And if your employees are forever in and out of hotels, this can also have an impact on their work-life balance. When an employee goes abroad for conferences, as exciting as this can be at the outset, the novelty soon wears off. If you have one employee that you rely on for these things, it’s worth establishing a system where everybody has an opportunity.

It’s not just a great way to balance out the responsibilities, but it gives everybody the opportunity to expand their horizons that little bit more. Business travel is one of those essential components for a business to expand its outreach, but it can also be a very stressful time, not least when it comes to meeting clients. Make sure you look after your employees.

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