Safety and security professionals struggle to protect their employees from threats for three primary reasons. First, today’s workforce is more dispersed than ever before. About 70 percent of people work remotely at least once per week. And in the United States alone, about 1.3 million business trips occur each day. With employees constantly on the move and traveling about the globe, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with each employee’s proximity to every emergent threat.
Second, a more global economy and better collaboration tools make it easier to operate offices away from your primary headquarters. Each office represents an unique monitoring challenge, marked by potentially different time zones, weather patterns, political climates, etc. Every location under supervision requires constant review and analysis to understand what hazards face the local employees.
Third, we live in a world saturated with information. Local news channels, government entities, law enforcement agencies, global weather sources and even social networks provide source material to help identify threats to your employees. The volume of data is overwhelming.
To address these challenges, companies are turning to modern threat monitoring systems to watch for threats and easily warn at-risk employees. Here are a few key components threat monitoring systems must have to succeed in today’s global economy:
Comprehensive Threat Content
The 24-hour news circuit is great for breaking news, but you can’t rely on it for the myriad of threats that could impact your employees. Here are just a few of the categories of threats you need to be monitoring:
- SECURITY: Major protests, criminal activity, active shooters
- TRANSPORTATION: Significant road or airport closures
- COMMUNICATIONS: Cell coverage outages
- HEALTH: Disease outbreaks
- ENVIRONMENT: Air quality, excessive heat
- SEVERE WEATHER: Winter weather, flooding, tornadoes, tsunamis
It’s simply not possible to monitor all these types of threats—from different sources located all over the world—so you will benefit from a system that aggregates threat data across all categories that matter to your business. Modern threat monitoring systems leverage multiple sources to populate a worldwide threat database. Expert analysts and trusted content sources (like the National Weather Service) vet and curate all threat information to help you cut through the noise, giving you actionable, timely content your organization can use to navigate potentially damaging situations.
Real-Time Impact Assessments
To be truly helpful, threat data needs to include an assessment of the threat’s impact on your people. With remote and traveling employees scattered around the globe, and new threats emerging constantly, you need help understanding the likelihood of threats that may harm your people.
Advanced threat monitoring systems will cross-reference your employees’ real-time location data (from travel itineraries, mobile and office locations and employee addresses) against threats from around the globe, assessing the risk for your business. An impact assessment engine like this helps you keep your people safe 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It operates constantly, capturing updated location data as your people travel across locations, moving within harm’s way of any threat.
Automated Threat Warnings
Once the system identifies a relevant threat, you need to know immediately. Look for a system that will give you the option to set up automatic threat warnings. As soon as a relevant threat emerges near your employee, the system will automatically send an alert to system admins—enabling you to act quickly.
Some systems even support automatic warnings that go directly to employees. For example, you could specify that if a high-severity threat (like an act of violence) emerges in the vicinity of any of your employees, the system will immediately send a warning to the employees’ mobile devices. This cuts out the middleman for the most time-sensitive threats.
Integrated Emergency Communication
Once you have identified a relevant threat, you need to get the word out to the impacted employees. Modern threat monitoring systems have built-in emergency communications capabilities. They allow you to populate your message with threat details automatically, and to segment the audience to only include the impacted employees. This saves you valuable time and improves the likelihood of positive outcomes. It also gives you the opportunity to perform wellness checks, gain insights into current employee needs and communicate threats to any-size audience. These systems are intuitive enough for anyone to use, they work over all communication channels (text, voice call, email, etc.), so no one misses the important information, and they support two-way communication so employees can reply with helpful information from the field.
The challenges that come with protecting a modern workforce require modern solutions. You can protect your organization and employees with a fully integrated threat monitoring system, one that gives you real-time threat impact assessments you can use to help fulfill your duty of care obligations and keep your employees safe.