Booking travel outside of a centralized, managed travel platform is less than ideal for businesses for a variety of reasons. Among them is this: performing duty of care is almost impossible if you don’t know where your business travelers are at any given time. As organizations continue to expand and take on global footprints, so do the number of employees traveling on their company’s behalf, and therefore, the amount of travel risk increases, too. A realistic duty of care policy goes hand-in-hand with effective travel risk management. While risk challenges will vary based on your organization’s size, industry, and scope of business travel, it’s critical to evaluate how you’re delivering on duty of care especially as you seize travel as a strategic lever for culture and growth.
As a customer-obsessed organization, we want to make sure travelers using Navan are taken care of at every step of the business travel journey. Business travel sometimes means taking a rideshare across town for a client lunch, but other times it means trekking halfway around the world — and it’s important travelers feel we’ve got their backs at every step of the way.
Duty of care is an organization’s moral and legal obligation to monitor the safety of its employees. At Navan, duty of care applies to practices and policies for employees when traveling and on the road. While duty of care is traditionally sequestered to HR/People teams, security, risk management, or travel managers, we at Navan firmly believe duty of care is best executed as everyone’s responsibility. With the latest technology readily available to track critical events everywhere in the world and the people they affect, it’s reasonable to expect every organization to keep an eye on their employees, no matter where they are.
Duty of care is about building a culture of safety and trust, so employees can feel not only safe but empowered to travel for work. After all, if travelers feel your organization does not adequately support them on the road, they’ll certainly find an employer that does. Communicating that you genuinely care about your employees’ safety and security is a huge differentiator when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. If you think about how globally distributed businesses are today, there are more places and time zones where your employees could find themselves traveling for work. Travel to most any country comes with potential risk, and it is essential to have proactive plans in place should something go wrong. Incorporating duty of care as part of crisis planning helps extend your performance of care beyond just employee monitoring.
While how you deliver on duty of care will ultimately be unique to your organization, here are a few key recommendations:
That last bullet is particularly important. Yes, augment your duty of care and risk-management strategies with machine learning, safety software, and social media, but have face-to-face conversations beforehand and be available when a crisis does happen. People will remember how you made them feel when something goes wrong. Strong delivery on duty of care will ultimately enable travel managers to champion more than just travel, providing additional value to their company as a whole. Duty of care is about being prepared for whatever might happen and is essential to any comprehensive business travel program. At the end of the day, should something happen, it’s critical that everyone knows what to do to ensure every employee is safe.
For more information on how Navan helps organizations deliver on duty of care, check out our product page.