What’s Your Role in Duty of Care? Make Your CEO and Other C-suite Execs Aware

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One of the biggest challenges for organizations is that Duty of Care is considered everyone’s responsibility. It cannot be relegated to one functional group. But clearly some groups have more expertise and knowledge than others.

When I called the CEOs/Presidents/Executive Directors for clients who had employees and staff in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010, a full 25-percent of them had no idea they had people in the country at the time of the disaster.

Similarly, when I reached out during the Arab Spring, the numbers were a little lower. But while their awareness of the situation in general was high, their knowledge of exact number of employees, locations, or remedial plans, was not.

While this assessment isn’t scientific, the argument could be made that there are so many competing priorities for C-level executives that it’s sometimes difficult for the departments involved in Duty of Care – including travel, human resources, security and medical to name a few -  to get a meaningful conversation with them.

In the Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management Global Benchmarking Study, respondents from 628 global organizations listed “increasing awareness” as the number one best practice when it comes to implementing a program. Certain stakeholders, especially general and senior management, were found to have a low awareness of their Duty of Care obligations. But this same study found that senior managers ranked as a top decision maker around how a company meets its Duty of Care.

Although the knowledge of how to incorporate a Duty of Care plan is readily available from experts, making it happen within any size company or organization requires discipline from both management and employees. Departmental silos must come down – and that includes disseminating vital information for the C-suite so they are aware of where their people are located – for an effective Duty of Care and travel risk management plan.

Check out the new International SOS video that highlights the important findings of the Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management Global Benchmarking Study. Listen to an interview with Suzanne Garber on Executive Leaders Radio.

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