The health and well-being of your employees are crucial while they’re away for work, whether they’re attending a trade show or conference, speaking at an event, performing sales rep duties, or otherwise on the road.
Unfortunately, many women, in particular, feel unsafe in some areas when they’re away and are often more vulnerable to attack, too.
Many ladies feel worried about their safety in new and unfamiliar places, and businesses must consider this and how to help their female team members feel more secure when traveling on behalf of their organization. Here are some things you can do to reduce risks and make women workers feel safer.
Be Open to Hearing Concerns
First, ensure you and other leaders in your organization take the time and care to listen to female staff members when they express their concerns about safety while away from home for work. The women in your employ may know about hotels situated in less-than-ideal locations, where managers are sleazy, or cab companies they’ve used in the past where drivers have made them feel comfortable.
If you establish an open culture about these types of things, the ladies who work for you can guide you in making better travel choices, and will feel listened to and heard. Also, it pays to develop a specific policy regarding women’s travel for your firm. Consult the women in your business for their input since they’re the ones who understand the concerns and experiences many of them have. They can often come up with helpful ideas and actions they’d like their employer to implement to help them mitigate risks.
Book Safer Accommodation
One of the major steps you can take when it comes to your venture’s travel management plans is to select the accommodation you book for your staff members more carefully. Research places thoroughly to see if there are reports of any wrongdoings going on there and only pick hotels, motels, or Airbnb spots, etc., that are in well-lit, safe areas where travelers can walk without fear during the day or night.
It’s wise to choose hotels with 24-hour reception, too, or that have self-check-in options if needed. You want your female employees to be able to get into their room right away if they arrive at night and to have someone available they can turn to if they have safety concerns, such as issues with other guests or with accommodation staff.
Schedule Flight Arrivals and Meetings for Daylight Hours
Another tip is to, wherever possible, book flights and other travel that will have your female workers arriving during daylight hours rather than night-time ones. In particular, avoid having them arrive at an airport or train or bus station in the middle of the night when places are deserted.
The same goes for planning meetings for employees to attend. Try to organize all these business engagements so that they conclude during daylight hours and ladies don’t have to worry about walking to public transport hubs or hailing a cab when it’s dark and fewer people are around.
Educate Employees on Common Scams and Threats
Next, educate travelers on common scams and threats, such as identity theft, physical theft, and other digital issues. Let people know about the types of ways they may be compromised in-person or online and how to evert these common issues. Workers can then travel with more confidence and awareness.
It also pays to develop rapid response procedures for workers and your team leaders to follow if something goes wrong, such as a traveler being pickpocketed or assaulted. Contingency plans for emergencies can help people feel safer and ensure that tough situations don’t become worse. In addition, consider asking your female staff members if they’re interested in completing self-defense training that you could commission and run on-site or elsewhere.
Other tips to assist your workers are ensuring they have smartphones they can use while overseas to communicate in an emergency if needed, and pre-book airport and other transfers. That way, travelers don’t have to worry about finding an option when they arrive.
In addition, research locations before making arrangements for female employees to travel, as some destinations are riskier for women than men. Lastly, provide destination-specific information as appropriate to your workers.
Being proactive in the above ways will assist your workers to feel better when they go away for work, and help protect your business from potential litigation, too.