At the heart of a thriving company are the dedicated efforts of its employees, who traverse the globe to unlock new avenues of growth. As employees travel for the company and put their best foot forward, the responsibility of ensuring their safety and well-being falls on the company. This pivotal—albeit occasionally overlooked—aspect of corporate travel management is known as duty of care.
Keep reading to understand the significance of a corporate duty of care program and the key points to consider while formulating one.
What is Corporate Duty of Care?
Duty of care is a company’s legal and moral obligation to ensure its employees’ safety and well-being. While this typically includes providing a safe, hazard-free workplace and rights to inclusivity, it’s an especially crucial policy to have for companies that ask their employees to travel for business. Employees traveling for work are susceptible to encountering risks such as accidents, health hazards, crime, etc.
A corporate duty of care program ensures that a company has the resources to do everything in its power to mitigate these risks and signal the company’s full commitment to protect its employees.
Importance of a Corporate Duty of Care Program
A duty of care program is integral to a company’s corporate travel management. Every employee possesses a legal entitlement to receive proper care while engaged in business-related travel. Failure to fulfill this responsibility could harm the employee and make the company vulnerable to a lawsuit on grounds of negligence.
Aside from legal implications, the presence of an extensive corporate duty of care program also helps traveling employees feel secure, increasing their productivity and bringing about positive results for the company. Nurturing a secure environment also boosts morale, which in turn boosts employee retention.
Implementing a Successful Corporate Duty of Care Program
As companies aim to expand, their business travel needs tend to follow. This leads to higher exposure to risks, necessitating the need for corporate travel software to stay organized, keep track, and manage risks effectively.
Experts at Travelstop suggest some points management should consider when formulating a corporate duty of care program.
Carry Out a Risk Assessment
When it comes to corporate travel, having established policies is essential, but it's equally important to conduct additional research on specific destinations.
Consider cultural nuances and behavioral differences, as these can greatly impact interactions. Understanding gestures, language norms, and dressing appropriately can make a significant difference in establishing respectful and productive engagements. Moreover, staying informed about local laws and regulations is crucial, as these insights can prevent inadvertent legal complications. Environmental factors like health conditions, natural events, and political situations should also be taken into account.
Understand Your Employees’ Needs
Understanding your employees' unique needs is pivotal for their safety and well-being in challenging situations. Tailoring strategies to individual employees mitigates risks effectively, especially when addressing special requirements. For example, accommodating dietary preferences due to health concerns showcases care on the company’s part and maintains employees’ physical well-being.
Corporate travel software bolsters this process by profiling employees and offering insights that refine safety measures. Addressing health conditions and specialized needs underscores commitment to a secure and supportive travel experience.
Revitalize Your Travel Policy
You can boost your understanding of security measures in your travel policy by integrating more information and systems. These could include, but are not limited to:
- risk levels of various travel destinations
- traveler tracking systems
- communication channels
- personalized sessions with employees before their travels
- emergency travel resources like important hotlines, locations, and/or apps
These system integrations can be made seamlessly on Travelstop, which lets you obtain real-time risk data, embed tracking systems, and establish communication channels, amongst other advantages.
You can also use Travelstop to outline travel SOPs, track traveling employees’ activities, and maintain a channel of communication in case of emergencies, among others.
Prepare a Backup Plan
Effective corporate risk management thrives on being prepared for every possibility. While diligently constructing thorough duty-of-care programs is essential, it's crucial to acknowledge that unforeseen circumstances can disrupt even the best-laid preparations.
That's why having contingency plans for employee travel arrangements is a prudent move. By adopting this proactive approach, you ensure your team is well-equipped to handle unexpected situations and maintain their safety and well-being while traveling.
Incorporate Employee Feedback
Management can formulate a duty of care program that appears effective on paper, but ultimately, employees will experience it in real time. Soliciting their feedback reveals valuable nuances that might not be apparent solely from a managerial standpoint, such as any gaps or overlooked areas. Such collaborations establish a two-way street where the program is not merely imposed but co-created with the people it directly impacts.
Employee feedback can be obtained through questionnaires, surveys, or one-on-one conversations. Travel management software like Travelstop can aid in feedback collection as well, letting employees readily give their opinions and highlight their pain points.
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