We are all just a step away from being affected by a potential medical or security incident, whether in the workplace, while traveling on business or simply going about everyday life. The importance of new employee education, new traveler education or a refresher course on travel risk preparedness cannot be understated. For employers across the world, ensuring their people are prepared and informed about the practical aspects of medical and security risk is a crucial aspect of their Duty of Care to their employees. Adopting a robust, preventive travel training program that emphasizes potential dangers and also provides information on current events of travel destinations will not only keep employees safe during business travel, but ensure business continuity.
While the conversation surrounding travel security education is not a new one, there are always ways to revamp the style and delivery of educational programs, especially as we continue to evolve in a fast-paced and digitally-focused world. We often find that companies are hesitant to create too many mandatory learning modules, and, as a result, education in some areas may fall short due to the length of the program compared to the time allocated for the training and the attention span of the participant. Increasingly, companies are demanding education programs with a shorter length, and while these may be beneficial in the interest of time, the preparedness of the traveler may suffer if they are not fully informed.
This specific clash between principles learned and time spent can be remedied by creating modules that are to-the-point, interactive and effective. These courses should be catered to employees traveling to areas with specific risks and should also be profile-specific. Break down these modules into short 2-3-minute videos to effectively engage employees’ attention, deliver the message and be efficient in the interest of time. Bridging the gap between delivering engaging content in a timespan that works for both the traveler and the company is the key to avoiding complacency in travel security.
While education programs may often be facilitated by the Human Resources Department of an organization, a Duty of Care Committee can also play a valuable role in implementing key travel risk programs, especially when the Committee has members who travel often. The goal of Human Resources or a Duty of Care Committee should be to continuously identify areas of business travel risk and find ways to mitigate that risk. These risks may include uneducated travelers, travelers who have become complacent in their preparedness or high-risk situations that may arise for employees who are currently traveling. The company or committee can work to mitigate these risks by implementing these important education strategies:
Mandatory baseline security training via e-learning for all employees
- This baseline security training should be mandatory for all employees including experienced and infrequent travelers.
- Use e-learning modules that are short, engaging and informative so that travelers will be inclined to use them and refresh information as needed.
- Travelers should refresh their learning on a yearly basis.
- Deliver the e-learning modules via the organization’s current learning management system or a company app so travelers can access them at their convenience prior to travel.
Short, risk-specific modules that are easily accessible
- These modules should be easily accessible on mobile devices for travelers to increase their awareness and preparedness.
- These modules should also be sent to specific travelers before traveling to high-risk destinations.
Send alerts to employees about recent incidents in the area including any possible reason for travel delay or caution for a specific travel destination in real time
- This will keep employees up to date and aware to ensure safety.
Beyond the Duty of Care program, travelers can help ensure safety by following the same preparations routine for every trip, even when traveling to a familiar location domestically or internationally.
In order to have a successful education program, no matter the material, all learning modules for employees should feel organic and mesh well with the organization, its values and its culture. The messaging and topics will be better received by employees if they feel that the program aligns with others that they have participated in. This strategy not only ensures compliance with local and international regulations, but the company’s own goals as well. Furthermore, by demonstrating a commitment to employee safety, employees feel like the company cares about them.