A new survey by Government Business Council (GBC) and Concur finds that federal employees consider many of these existing processes to be disconnected and inconsistent.
According to the study, "Duty of Care in Federal Agencies," federal employees feel agencies have not yet implemented consistent and progressive technologies to meet duty of care policies designed to assure organizational responsibility for employee well being.
Of the federal employees surveyed, 82% indicated they had experienced disruptions or issues while traveling for work or working remotely, and despite existing duty of care protocols, 4 in 10 respondents still cite a need for greater agency support. Agencies have yet to expand the range of resources they provide, with only 19% of respondents indicating that their agency informs them of safety risks and threats. Just 11% of respondents say their agency provides them electronic device security, and even fewer receive real-time catastrophe alerts (10%), local emergency information (8%), or approved medical resources (4%).
"Federal agencies recognize the importance of supporting and protecting traveling employees, but we're seeing a lack of unified protocols across agency subgroups," said Zoe Grotophorst, Director of Research & Content Services at GBC. "This report identifies a number of steps agencies can take in order to adopt a more robust, comprehensive duty of care policy."
According to the survey, agencies still rely primarily on one-to-one communication between supervisors and employees, organization-wide emails, and emergency notification systems in order to verify employee safety. Only 40% of federal managers estimate being able to receive confirmation of employee safety within one hour of an emergency.
"With global volatility on the rise, a number of our federal agency clients are beginning to look very closely at the technology and communications processes available to enhance their duty of care responsibility to their travelers," said Jim Lucier, Senior Vice President, Federal Government at Concur. "This includes not just travelers, but consolidating communications and providing awareness of risk across all federal employees, including those that work at remote locations."
The "Duty of Care in Federal Agencies" survey also suggests that communication gaps may exist between agency decision makers and rank-and-file employees. Although 78% of GS-15 and Senior Executive Service employees feel that their agency is proactive about travel safety, only 57% of respondents ranking GS-13 and below agree.
To view the full report, visit: http://www.govexec.com/insights/reports/duty-care-federal-agencies/123200/