Global Security Preparedness

Mary Beth Nitz, VP of Global Consulting Services at Altair Global, discusses the growth in globalisation and its impact on risk management in the global mobility sphere.

Altair Global - Security Preparedness
Given the growth of assignee populations, corporations must understand and appreciate the business impacts of natural and human-constructed security threats, while demonstrating leadership and commitment to their employees by taking a comprehensive approach to managing risks. A prioritisation of employee safety and security – as a moral, legal, financial, and reputational obligation – must be achieved.Accomplishing risk management success in the context of global business travel and assignments is an extension of “Duty of Care” – a social responsibility. The concept of Duty of Care can also be considered a recruitment tool; a responsible, comprehensive global strategy draws prospective employees to the organisation and attracts current employees to new roles and assignments.The coming years will give rise to cross-functional stakeholder engagements in which those offering subject matter experts (SMEs) in travel, mobility, risk management, security assessment, evacuation services, etc. will collaborate to ensure the goals and objectives of senior leadership are given priority throughout the organisation. If experts cannot be identified internally, corporations are expected to seek external partners to help manage their responsibilities to employees and their accompanying/impacted families more frequently.Corporations must have a clear picture of the current state of their global strategy versus an ideal state. A starting strategy should include the following to control – or possibly eliminate – risk:
  1. identify threats
  2. assess risks
  3. implement mitigating tools, suppliers, and policies

Increased Diversity and Mobility

The lens of travelling assignee safety has and will continue to shift from seasoned business travellers and other global professionals to an increasingly diverse population of employees engaged in global mobility for equally diverse business purposes. Consider the recent college graduate, hired into a multinational organisation for a specialised skill and immediately deployed from his Eastern European home to the US for a two-week corporate assimilation exercise.

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Consider the tenured US line worker selected for a three-month, new-hire training initiative in a Middle Eastern assembly plant. Traditionally both employees would receive assistance and advice regarding essential travel arrangements. However, in tomorrow’s multinational corporation, the employee’s aptitude for situational awareness, accessibility to information about emerging situations, and opportunity to provide feedback about how to improve the assignment experience will also be commonplace.

Consumer Empowerment

Future assignees will also benefit from the rise of consumer empowerment, taking shape in virtually all aspects of commerce and constituting much more than a “hyped Millennial entitlement complex.”The movement is a real (and presumably) permanent shift in the type and breadth of information available to consumers. Certainly websites and apps have been designed, and largely adopted, on the premise of empowering and educating the consumer. On-demand information concerning travel safety incidents, landlord and property ratings, crime statistics, etc. is already empowering employees to make sound decisions about their assignment travel and housing.GPS technology has also become routine within the mobility space, whether used to track the whereabouts of a household goods shipment, help a family navigate the airport to a corporate apartment or to confirm the walk-score of a prospective rental property.Now companies such as Life360, Sygic, and many others have put GPS technology to work in managing family dynamics, such as tracking the children’s journeys home from school or social engagements. It is likely that similar technology would be used, particularly via corporate issued smart devices, to track employees on non-routine travel or travel to moderate to high-risk locations, advancing the current practice of tracking employees in the delivery and travel services space to a defendable, standard corporate practice.

Conclusion

Today, increased globalisation is a concept that calls for innovative solutions – especially in the mobility industry. With these increases comes a responsibility to have the very best tools to control and prevent risk in the context of global security. The key to the idea of “preparedness” in your company relies on risk management: identifying threats, assessing risks and implementing effective tools in the forms of SMEs, external partners, trained employees, carefully chosen assignments and forward-thinking technology.
Mary Beth Nitz joined Altair’s Global Headquarters and Central Service Center as Director, Global Consulting Services,
in Plano, Texas, in 2011. Mary Beth holds the Senior Certified Relocation Professional (SCRP) and Senior Global Mobility Specialist (SGMS) designations from Worldwide ERC®. She has received a Meritorious Service Award and a 2016 Distinguished Service Award from WERC for her many contributions to the relocation industry. In addition, Mary Beth received the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification from the Society for Human Resource Management®. She is also certified in international remuneration, including international benefits, expatriate compensation, and international total remuneration from the WorldatWork human resources association.

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