The recent events of the past few weeks from the shootings in Paris to terrorist hunts in Belgium, have served to remind us all that while the world has become a smaller place, we are that much more vulnerable to the strife and terror. As someone who travels fairly often for business, I was at first shaken by what occurred in Paris and have to say thought twice about traveling anytime soon, but thankfully that passed.
Traveling is tough as it is. Now add the concern about airline safety (thinking about Air Asia), and terrorist threats against airlines, and you can absolutely feel overwhelmed to the point you just want to stay at home and draw the shades.
As the head of HR for a global company, at any given time we have employees traveling to all corners of the globe. The recent attacks serve as a reminder to revisit Company policies especially when you have international offices and employees traveling overseas. While these may appear morbid, here are some policies worth reviewing now for sake of your employee's safety but also for business continuity:
1) Travel Policies.
Do you require executives at certain levels to fly on different flights if they are heading to the same destination? From a succession point of view, think about it..do you want say three executives on the same flight if something should happen? While it may seem like common sense, you may want to develop a policy which prohibits your senior leadership team from traveling on same flights.
2) Emergency Evacuation Plan.
Your company may have offices or facilities in volatile regions of the world. Do you have a plan of how to get your people out if there is imminent danger to their well-being? There are a number of companies that can provide these services, including for medical evacuations.
3) Crisis Management Plan.
A Crisis Management Plan will help outline, identify, and clarify the best and worst possible crisis scenarios your business may experience. Outlining all the various crises that your company may experience will enable you to plan for each and establish the solution. A Crisis Management Plan should also establish guidelines for practical communications both internally and externally including speaking with the press. Your Crisis Management Plan should be communicated to every employee so they understand their part in an emergency and know the proper steps to take.
4) Create a Personal Emergency Binder.
If you're like me and travel often, I have created is a binder which contains all the pertinent information for my family in the event something should happen. It contains contact information, policy numbers, and details on my life insurance, 401k, etc. all in one place. It also includes copies of my passport should I ever lose it while traveling. When I leave I always make sure the binder is placed on my dresser just in case. This provides me peace of mind when I'm on the road.
With increasing global tensions and volatility, while we all hope never to have to use or refer to these policies in a true emergency, they can provide us with preparedness, understanding, and most importantly peace of mind.