Each day, corporate travelers cross the globe to create and support business opportunities. Many travelers consider themselves savvy, and consider their travel a personal quasi-adventure.
Duty to warn and duty to care responsibilities are well-known concepts in the security profession. Like many rules and regulations in a firm these are compliance issues for employees. While we as security practitioners know the value and importance of this policy information, we compete with many other compliance messages and mandatory training that comes across an employee’s desktop each day.
So how do we rough and tumble security professionals make our messaging stand out and be understood and retained? When the bad day arrives, will our employees will be versed enough in knowing where the information they need resides, how to contact corporate security support, and how to react in the initial harrowing moments of a dynamic situation such as a fire or an attack?
We as the persons of responsible charge for supplying the information have a duty to find unique ways to ensure our employees have readily available emergency contact information for reporting, advice and counsel.
In my organization, in addition to websites and learning management systems with information available in routine information publishing, we have also armed our folks with information that they can have in their possession while traveling in a way that our information will always be in their briefcase, purse, or on their luggage.
Our team at United Therapeutics Corporation created carefully selected flashlight and luggage tags for employees with our corporate security logo and contact details on them. The flashlight selected is small and light with an internal lithium battery, so that it easily is carried in hold luggage and is transferable to a purse or briefcase when in country, or be available in a hotel room or taxi.
The luggage tag for use with a suitcase or briefcase secrets the traveler’s business card from prying eyes. Within the hinged plastic shell, we placed an engraved business card sized metal plate with our Global Security Operations Center contact details. We encourage our employees to immediately place this tag on their briefcase or luggage in order they will always have our data with them. While packing or prepping for the trip they can remove the thin metal card from the holder and place it in their purse or wallet so that it will be in their personal possession for the duration of their duty. Post travel, we encourage the card to be placed back in the luggage tag in order it that it will always stay connected to business travel execution without having to think about it.
Handing out these items gives us a chance to speak with our employees and to alert them to the fact that our GSOC can act as a one stop call to get assistance from our firm and supporting agencies. It also ensures those without cellphones or cell service have the 24 hour methods to contact us for assistance.
In the near term, we are also releasing a small accordion like pamphlet that has emergency advice for the initial moments of an event such as a hotel fire.
In addition to our traditional policy publishing, corporate security also utilizes “Workplace”, a Facebook-like tool on our company intranet. To keep our internal customers engaged in thinking about safety and security, we leverage certain events that are in the news and point to our procedures or tools available to help raise and enforce employee awareness.
Just as we have as security professionals have a duty to warn and care, I also believe we also have a duty to engage, socialize and influence to ensure our messages are heard and retained. At the time of an emergency event, a traveling employee taking early action and communicating quickly with the employer about the event will be more positive for both parties than not.