Too few transportation companies adhere to or even establish a comprehensive code of care for their clients and passengers. We believe that having that kind of code is what separates Celebrity Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation from our competition.
Duty of Care is the central concept behind our commitment to creating a superior experience for our passengers. It is the governing set of principles that serves and protects our customers before, during, and after the ride.
Kevin Iwamoto, Senior Consultant at Goldspring Consulting recently spoke at the 2016 GBTA Convention in Denver, sharing his concerns on the importance of DOC for meetings and events, what duty of care means and what specifically applies to meeting and event leaders as part of their onsite planning responsibilities.
During the panel session, there have been shared some best practices, which we want to share with you first of all because sharing is caring and, as Kevin says, Duty of care in today’s world is not a “nice to have,” it’s a must-have.
- Make sure your third-party risk management partner (e.g., iJet, iSOS, travel management company, venues, etc.) can provide services to all types of travelers (staff, volunteers and other non-employees) and sort by group for reporting needs and accurate tracking. I would also include pre-trip “know before you go” communications to travelers booked to visit a mid- to high-risk area.
- Institute an emergency response plan for international travel, covering all contingencies, including military action, political unrest and natural disasters. It is our responsibility and smart business to safely bring home every employee and contractor when we ask them to go abroad to further the corporate mission. Don’t forget to include your key suppliers in the design of your company’s plan.
- Have a good communication plan set up for your travelers. Keep it simple and clear, so should a trip go awry, they know who to call for what. Incorporate info into a mobile app and laptop-static document that doesn’t require the Internet to access. If possible, use one main link to provide immediate access to protocols so there’s no need for phone numbers and multiple other links.
- Educate your travelers through policies, smart communications, web pages, special alerts, etc.
- Ensure that travelers understand pertinent details, particularly if a trip is rescheduled or the airlines take over their flight reservations. Your traveler-tracking program is only as good as the integrity of the booked data. When not communicated to the travel or meetings manager, changes to itineraries can handicap the ability to be effective.
- Be ready for the unexpected. International travel isn’t business as usual. Researching what resources are available in the event of an emergency is important, as is advising travelers to review their insurance coverage and other services to ensure they are available. Pre-trip planning and advisory communications also are key.
- Ensure you have the financial means and proper form of payment so you could purchase a large volume of tickets, hotel rooms, charter flights or other arrangements at a moment’s notice in case of mass attendee evacuations.
- Have a team approach. When it comes to risk management and duty of care, it’s best to have all stakeholders involved including travel, security, HR, senior management and risk staff. You also should seek an integrated solution that encompasses all your travelers’ needs while emphasizing that everyone, from senior management to employees, have duty-of-loyalty responsibilities for traveler safety and well-being. Everyone should be equally made aware of status updates and emergency situations. Make sure that all staff contact information is kept up-to-date with regularity.
The responsibilities that come with a worldwide chauffeured service cannot be overlooked, or taken for granted, by any company. Our responsibility is to ensure that both our drivers and our vehicles meet all legal requirements, are ‘fit for purpose’, and are maintained to the appropriate standards.
When considering your duty of care responsibilities, you should not only think about the legal implications, but also your moral obligations and social responsibility.
Rather than just taking the minimum steps necessary to meet your duty of care requirements, your company is likely to benefit from exceeding these requirements and embracing safety to a greater extent.
Celebrity Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation always will choose safety first.
Also published on Medium.