When unexpected events cause worry, it’s up to travel managers to reassure travelers and make sure they feel secure.
In the travel industry, travel managers are experienced in handling the difficulties that may arise from plans being delayed or going awry. However, it is less clear on how best to help your staff feel secure and reassured when hard situations come up. The wellbeing of your staff is more important than ever.
While the world deals with the current COVID-19 and other crises, there are simple ways to help your travelers feel more sure about traveling. Here are a few ways to get started.
Always listen to their concerns
Only by knowing what is causing your travelers to feel anxious can you do something about it.
Your travelers will likely better understand the situation on the ground, so try to reach out and gain their point of view. A great way to gather this information is by asking travelers to fill in a feedback survey before and after every trip.
Be sure to ask them questions about issues that concern their health and wellbeing, such as the general safety of the city they’re staying, the cleanliness of the hotel they’re staying in and their access to safe transport.
Vet facilities in advance
Before sending your traveler to a hotel, restaurant, conferencing facility or any other location, contact the manager in advance to ask for a risk assessment.
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, you should ask specifically about how they are applying measures in areas such as social distancing, hygiene and PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff and guests.
You should also pay attention to your traveler’s means of transportation. Are they being escorted in a safe and hygienic manner? Check the safety of each leg of their journey and stay and relay your safety protocols to your staff.
If crisis strikes, you may need to move your traveler to another location or even evacuate them if the region has become unsafe.
In these circumstances, it pays to have a comprehensive back-up plan. Pre-arrange emergency transport and look for accommodation in safe areas, with alternatives if necessary.
You should communicate these back-up plans to your traveler ahead of time, helping them to feel confident knowing they have options in the event of a crisis.
Mitigate leakage to protect your staff
Should your traveler deviate from your booking, they are more likely to put themselves in harm’s way and less likely to benefit from your back-up plans. If your traveler decides to book their own accommodation, you cannot be sure that their safety is ensured.
To stop this from happening, communicate with your traveler ahead of time. Provide full and detailed booking information, as well as a list of all the protocols you’ve put in place for their safety, to help them make the right decision about their accommodation.
When using HRS to manage your lodging processes, travel managers can rest assured that the hotels used by their company are safe for their staff. With the new Clean and Safe Protocol established by HRS and leading hygiene inspection company SGS, HRS hotel partners are assessed as compliant with the latest healthcare and hygiene standards.
Maintain regular contact
Make sure that your company communicates regularly with your traveler while they’re away. This will help the business to respond quickly in case they find themselves feeling anxious or in danger.
If a crisis does occur while your traveler is out of the office, make sure a company representative gets in touch at the earliest opportunity. Knowing they have a corporate contact caring for their welfare will help them to feel reassured.
You can also use this opportunity to guide them should they need to follow an emergency procedure.
Checklist: how to give your traveler confidence
The next time you book a journey, make sure you’ve fulfilled these steps.
- Communicate ahead of time with your traveler to understand their concerns and mitigate the risk of leakage
- Prepare your traveler’s itinerary in advance so that they can visualize their journey
- Vet facilities including hotels, restaurants, transportation and meeting rooms
- Prepare alternatives should your traveler encounter an issue while they are away
- Communicate regularly with your traveler while they are aware so that you can respond quickly to their concerns
Why should you work with a travel partner?
Working with a dedicated travel partner such as HRS can help to make preparing your traveler’s itinerary quick, simple and safe. We take care of the entire lodging process from start to finish to help you and your travelers feel more reassured. With the new Clean and Safe Protocol, you and your travelers can feel secure in the knowledge that their safety is paramount.
Learn more about risk management, safety protocols and duty of care provided by our partners.