Traveling for business is one of the necessary evils that a large number of employees face frequently. Driving long distances between client visits is tedious at best. Driving in unfamiliar territory while trying to follow the freakish voice of a GPS can break even the most seasoned traveler into a sweat.
Add to that the aggravation that has become modern air travel, countless nights spent in hotel rooms and sketchy diner food makes it easy to see that traveling employees face risks that “normal” employees are spared.
It is very easy for a frequent traveler to get a feeling of being detached from the company. Just catching up on the daily events that happen at the home office can be a chore when it must be done responding to e-mails in hotel rooms at night or through cell phone calls during the day.
A Good PEO Can Help Support Your Road Warriors
As a veteran “road warrior” myself, I know first-hand the risks that must be overcome. Having a great support group at corporate headquarters makes the task much easier. I log thousands of air-miles and over 100,000 road miles annually visiting our great clients. The support I get from my co-workers at our corporate office makes my job much easier. However, if yours is a small company with employees who must travel the majority of the time, partnering with a good PEO can give your road warriors the support they need.
A good PEO can support the efforts of your traveling employees in many ways. At Employers Resource, each of our clients is assigned a team of professionals with expertise in everything from HR and payroll to employee health and safety. Key players in our client support team are the Client Service Representatives assigned to each of our branch offices. These folks act as quarterbacks to direct questions and concerns from your employees to the people at ERM who can help.
Safety Support for Your Traveling Employees
One of the worst times a road warrior can have is to experience a work-related injury and not know what to do – where to go for treatment, how to report the claim to the work comp insurance company, policy information needed to ensure the bills are sent to the correct place, etc.
The bright red envelope contains the name and policy information of the work comp carrier, Treatment Authorization forms that can be presented to the clinic, and even names of clinic groups that will handle work comp injuries in areas where the employee is traveling. We also include our work comp “800” number. Traveling employees who experience an injury can call that number for assistance in any aspect of reporting the claim and seeking treatment.At Employers Resource, we assist our clients through the creation of a “workplace injury kit” that contains complete instructions on how to report an injury, who to contact at the PEO, and the rules that must be followed to make sure the PEO’s work comp carrier gets the information regarding the claim in a timely manner. These kits also work well for clients in the service industries who have employees on the road daily, but home at night.
Another way a PEO can assist your traveling employees is to supply basic safety tips that pertain to the inherent risks of traveling. Things like personal security on the road, avoiding becoming a mark for thieves, driving safely in unfamiliar territory, managing luggage and equipment to avoid back injuries and pulled muscles are all topics that should be covered. Employers Resource maintains a library of the latest information available about these topics. We can place individual employees in our client companies on an e-mail list to receive these topics when needed.
One client in particular has more than 50 employees who are based from their homes and who travel extensively within a prescribed territory performing service visits for their clients. We placed all 50 employees on our weekly Safety E-mail Blast. Each week, the employees receive an e-mail containing a safety topic pertinent to their line of work. Employees must acknowledge receipt of the e-mail, complete any quiz or test that accompanies the e-mail and return the quiz to the home office. This becomes a part of the OSHA required training record for the company.Employers Resource also has developed written programs for clients pertaining to cell phone use while driving, driving defensively, and driving in inclement weather conditions. Clients often ask for assistance in developing job-specific safety programs designed to protect traveling employees or employees who routinely work away from home base.
Other clients make use of our on-line safety meetings. Road warriors can log into a website at the pre-determined meeting time and attend a safety meeting just as if they were in the office.
Successful road warriors have several things in common:
- They are highly organized people who are able to plan each step of a trip to obtain the most bang for the travel buck.
- They are constantly aware of their surroundings and are able to react appropriately to unforeseen circumstances.
- They are the “face” of your company – often they are the only live representatives of your company that your clients see.
- They are comfortable in their jobs and are well supported by other employees at the home office.
Learn more about how Employers Resource can lessen the risks faced by your traveling employees and all types of employees. Get in touch with one of our consultants today.