Do you communicate with your employees when they travel? This might sound like a daft question, and in this day and age, we communicate every day as part of our lives, through social media, phones, emails, texts – this has become the norm for everyone, so it might sound daft when I ask if you about employee communication.
What Happens If An Employee Goes Missing?
Let’s put this scenario to you. An employee travels on Friday evening, ready for a presentation on Monday afternoon. Everything is ready for the presentation, then you get a call from the company saying. “Where is your employee? They haven’t turned up for the meeting.” You call your employee – no answer. Where are they? What happened? You don’t know.
Let’s say they arrived in the country, and then they were robbed, or they ended up in a location they shouldn’t have, and could not get to a safe place. Maybe they have a heart condition and had a health scare, and they have ended up in hospital. Maybe they’ve been kidnapped. A whole host of scenarios that could happen to many people while they travel. When did this happen? What did you provide as an organization to know if they were taken, if they were safe, and if they needed help?
Establish A Reporting Plan
This is where we should be putting in a reporting plan. I think, as an organization, if you do not have this in place, you are not providing an adequate duty of care to your people when they travel. A reporting plan does not mean you have to email them every hour, although if they went to a high-risk location, and they faced a significant risk against them as an individual for what they were going to do, you would want to be in contact with them regularly.
If they’re traveling to a benign location, doing a normal task that they do regularly, maybe you contact them every 24 hours, maybe every 36 hours – but you need to be contacting that person at a regular time. Here’s the important bit – what happens if they don’t respond to the reporting plan?
Have An Action Plan Too
You need to make sure that you have an action plan if they haven’t contacted you. Maybe they’re out of coverage. What are the actions that you take as an organization to follow up with that individual, and to find out why they haven’t responded? This should be done securely, and there are a whole host of different ways to communicate securely from country to country.
Whatever solution you use to do this, it is imperative that you have a reporting plan in place for your employees whilst they travel. Allowing your people to travel without a reporting plan could place them in far more danger than you realise.