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NBTA : November 2008
Locating your Mobile Workforce: 16 more than just tracking 00 xx by Marcus McRitchie Director of People Risk International SOS www.internationalsos.com If you have expatriates and employees travelling overseas, the issue of how to best manage their health and safety is not always an easy one. It involves accurately understanding their whereabouts which is often easier said than done. Theoretically keeping track of your employees initially might appear quite straightforward however organisations can quickly run into difficulties without the right tools. There are some sophisticated tracking systems that are dynamic and interact with your Travel Management Company’s booking system, so for example, if your employee changes a booking, it can be reflected in the tracking system. Some of these tracking systems have a better quality of reporting and communication tools than others, but they are also generally stand-alone, they only track your employees during part of the journey management cycle and rely on you to integrate it into your internal risk management systems and your external medical and security assistance solutions. It stands to reason that a functional employee tracking system needs to be closely integrated with every stage of your risk management processes. Journey risk management starts with preparation and education before they leave home, managing a safe and healthy journey and finally tying up any loose ends once they return. The ability to accurately track, locate and communicate with your employees during the entire journey is a small but crucial element to efficient risk management. It can be challenging to grasp which Employee Tracking solution is the most suitable for your organisation’s needs. Asia Pacific Corporate Traveller Volume 1 Issue 1 Preparation and information is mitigation Ensuring that your travel tracking system can alert you immediately when employees book travel to high risk locations can help you manage any potential risk abroad before it happens. Employees may not be aware of all the details behind the company travel policies, such as what specific countries they can travel to. Your employee’s perceived risk for certain destinations and activities can also vary widely from person to person, which means they may also pro-actively choose to ignore pre-travel advice or policies without understanding the implications. Frequent travellers (and expatriates), for example, are often desensitised to their environments. They often start skipping precautionary measures and ignoring travel warnings. Some market research undertaken by International SOS shows large differences in perceived and actual risk when abroad. In addition to alerting you to high risk travel bookings, an efficient travel tracking and management solution should have the capability to automatically push travel information and policies out to your employees, and even pro-actively ask them for further information or confirmation that they’ve read the email.