ND034 - Travel managers struggle with duty of care
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Travel managers struggle with duty of care

Many organizations lack systems to address security concerns

Increasingly, travel managers recognize their paramount role in fulfilling duty of care obligations to their traveling employees. However, a significant number of organizations lack the systems in place to quickly address the fears of their travelers.

Travel managers cannot afford complacency

Travelers have since experienced a rapid increase in the number of concerns on the insecurity threats. According to  new research from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), travel managers are obliged with duty of care for travelers. The study showed that over a third (37%) of travel managers saw rising inquiries relating to traveler safety.

However, many organizations seemingly do not have the machinery to address safety quickly. More than a quarter (27%) of travel managers say there hasn’t been a detailed emergency plan in place. According to the study, funded by American Express GBT, the absence of these plans could be triggered by the fact that meetings are rarely planned in most of the organizations. 39% of travel managers have reported that meetings have happened just once or even none.

“Travel managers cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to worst-case scenario planning,” said Greeley Koch, executive director of ACTE. “The status quo for many organizations is to react to a crisis — but this leaves travelers in danger and ultimately does not lead to replicable procedures for the future. Proactive planning is an absolute necessity in an evolving global threat environment.”

Despite the increasing safety concerns, there seems to be a sluggish drive for change. Over half of the respondents (58%) say they have not made any adjustments to their policy in the last six months.

While there is plenty of room to improve duty of care, travel managers could prepare their organizations for future safety challenges by taking a few simple steps, according to Evan Konwiser, vice president Digital Traveler with American Express GBT.

“Proactivity is the key to success in duty of care, and there are some turnkey ways to make security a priority with travelers and stakeholders,” said Konwiser. “It may be as simple as putting a quarterly meeting on the calendar for HR, IT, compliance and senior leadership to discuss the organization’s travel policies and emergency preparedness.”

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