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How to make sure your employees get home safely in a crisis

Posted Jul 04, 2022

How to make sure your employees get home safely in a crisis

Whether you have staff working at home or in the office, you have a duty of care for your team as an employer. The same is true when you send employees out on business across the UK or overseas.

But how do you maintain duty of care in the case of an emergency?

In this blog, we break down the kind of emergencies you need to be prepared for and the solutions that enable you to get your staff home safe, whatever the situation.

What types of crises should I be prepared for?

1. Illness

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the world far more alert to the dangers of viral illness. It’s more important than ever before that businesses have clear and effective mitigation strategies in place to minimise the spread of illnesses like COVID-19, not only to protect those affected but also to safeguard staff that haven’t yet been exposed.

2. Power outages

Returning to the office has been a boon for some businesses, especially in workplaces that value face-to-face interactions with their staff and clients. But being back in one building can expose enterprises to major productivity losses if a power outage hits your facilities. Getting employees home quickly in this scenario can dramatically reduce the time your business is out of action.

3. Fire

Even with today’s strict building regulations, fires can still happen. Employers must have a foolproof way to prevent staff from being stranded when they do. Leveraging today’s technology, you can dispatch emergency ground transport within minutes of a building evacuation and safely get teams of all sizes back home.

4. Political unrest

Taking your business on the road has its share of risks. One that may not be immediately obvious is if your employees are caught in a situation of political unrest. If a city is under threat — by terrorism, for example — many organisations would struggle to locate their employees, especially those travelling by taxi. With services such as Managed Taxi Solutions, employers can pinpoint the exact whereabouts of their staff and fulfil their duty of care.

5. Severe weather events

In the UK, the weather is fairly predictable — you can be confident it’ll be overcast or rainy. But every now and again, storms can sweep across the country at short notice, even more so in other countries when your staff are away on business. When the situation is extreme, you should be able to get your team into emergency accommodation to wait out the worst of it until it’s safe to travel again.

How to get staff home safely

The challenge

The key challenge in safely getting all your team home is making travel and accommodation arrangements at short notice. In the past, this has been a nigh-on impossible task, with businesses incurring huge expenses while their teams are forced to wait for hours or longer on emergency transport.

The solution

Today’s employers can harness technology like Emergency Transport Solutions or Homesafe to manage and track emergency transport for their employees in a crisis.

Powered by CMAC, HomeSafe is an award winning platform that provides you with a fast, effective crisis management tool that enables you to safely evacuate and invoke multiple work to home plans in minutes.

Users can activate emergency transport links and send to targeted groups via SMS, enabling quick mobilisation whilst putting the ownness on the traveller to manage their own transport requirements.

Employers can make last-minute travel arrangements for dozens or even hundreds of employees at once.

What to look for in an emergency transport solution

Here are some of the most useful features you should look for in a centralised emergency transport solution.

  • Booking at scale — Your emergency booking system should address the core challenge any mid-to-large business faces in a crisis: making arrangements at scale. Look for solutions that don’t place low limits on the amount of transport you can book at once.

  • SMS and email communications — Times of crisis can be stressful for your team, but you can mitigate that with regular, clear communication. Ensuring you have a crisis management communication plan that enables you to send out SMS and email updates to all your staff at once, will ensure you can keep them in the loop about the situation as it unfolds.

  • Give employees control — CMAC enables you to send out active booking links to your employees to accept or decline transport to get them to safety.That gives your team the extra control they might want in a time of crisis, and iron out any unforeseen snags with automation.

  • Live reporting — Businesses should be able to keep track of their expenditure even in an emergency. Live reporting allows you to spot any issues before they escalate.

  • Real-time tracking — CMAC’s solution provides live tracking on your team so you can see who’s already home and who’s still on their way.

How to communicate with your team during a crisis

Your duty of care as an employer goes beyond just getting your team into a car or onto a coach: you also need to provide them with all the information they need for smart decision-making and peace of mind.

Here are some key ways you can maximise the effectiveness of your communication to manage any crisis as it unfolds.

  1. Communicate frequently — There’s no such thing as overcommunication in an emergency. Send out regular communications with staff, noting any key updates — for example, upcoming changes with travel arrangements, or new information about the crisis. Establishing a robust crisis communication plan will allow you to automate a lot of this so you can focus your priorities elsewhere.

  2. Be detailed — Give employees a detailed plan of how you’ll get your team home so they know how to prepare. By removing as many unknowns as possible, you’ll significantly reduce the amount of stress your team experiences.

  3. Make it a two-way channel — Make sure there’s a way that your staff can reach you if they need more specific information or they encounter a problem.

How to prepare your business for a crisis situation

While crises are rarely predictable, there are several ways that businesses can help their staff prepare for an emergency situation. Proper preparation reduces any potential delays in the moment, which in turn could prevent unnecessary stress — and in some cases, even save lives.

  • Erase or reduce non-essential travel — You should consider letting staff carry out any jobs that can be done remotely off your business premises. This reduces the amount of emergency transportation you’ll need to book in a crisis scenario at your office.

  • Have employees go in pairs when travelling on business — Emergency situations abroad can be scary, but they’re even more stressful when you’re alone. When sending staff away on business, make sure they travel in groups of two or more so they can safeguard one another and provide support should the others feel threatened or overwhelmed.

  • Have employees declare themselves fit for travel — Encourage employees to declare themselves fully fit before travelling, especially if they’ll be away for several days. Give them the opportunity to say they don’t feel well so you don’t need to get them home should they fall seriously ill later. That way, you reduce the risk to them as well as any risk posed to others.

Be ready for any emergency

Preparation and fast response are both key if you want to keep your staff safe should the worst happen. That’s why it’s vital to equip your business with an emergency transport solution that’s as reliable as it is affordable.

To learn more about how you can safeguard your staff while getting them from A to B, discover CMAC’s full range of ground transportation services, whatever your industry.

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