Businesses 'well placed' to manage risky employee travel - Mitrefinch

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Businesses ‘well placed’ to manage risky employee travel

Published: January 3, 2017

Organisations have effective emergency communication plans in place for ‘risky’ employee travel, suggests new research.

Most businesses have a plan in place to manage risky travel for their employees, according to a new report.

The Emergency Communication Report – published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) – reveals that 84 per cent of organisations are well-placed to oversee employee travel to countries that are deemed to be ‘high risk’

This is important, as one in three (32 per cent) businesses report that staff members are indeed making trips to these possibly dangerous destinations.

However, the report also revealed that two-thirds (64 per cent) believed that it would take a business-affecting incident for them to put some form of emergency communication plan in place, which would be too late.

The BCI believes that there is now more concern regarding workplace violence and acts of terrorism – something that was highlighted in its Horizon Scan Report. The organisation feels that being able to effectively communicate with staff during a crisis could increase safety.

Further findings reveal that the main causes of emergency communication are unplanned IT and telecommunications outages (responsible for 42 per cent of cases), power outages (40 per cent), poor weather conditions (39 per cent), cyber security incidents (22 per cent) and natural disasters (22 per cent).

The top processes used for emergency communications are internal emails (79 per cent), text messaging (70 per cent), manual call trees (56 per cent), specialist software (50 per cent) and website announcements (46 per cent).

Commenting on the report, Patrick Alcantara, senior research associate at the BCI, said: “A robust emergency communications capability is a crucial, often life-saving, component of incident response.

“This becomes more important considering ever changing threats which often impact on the physical safety and well-being of employees and customers. This timely study affirms how organisations strive to improve their emergency communications capability, as well as look at opportunities to ensure reliable messaging and response.”

The report identifies that training, education and exercising plans are the best ways to improve emergency communications, but there are huge gaps in these areas in most organisations.

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