5 tips for supporting LGBTQ+ business travellers

 5 tips for supporting LGBTQ+ business travellers

In today's globally interconnected world, business travel is more common than ever. For companies committed to diversity and inclusion, ensuring that LGBTQ+ team members feel safe and supported while travelling is paramount. Here are five practical tips for businesses aiming to support their LGBTQIA+ employees when they’re travelling for work – whether close to home or on the other side of the world. 

1. Incorporate LGBTQ+ provisions into your travel risk management policy  

Your travel risk management (TRM) policy should explicitly address the unique challenges that LGBTQ+ travellers may face. This policy isn't just a document - it's a proactive measure that underscores your company's commitment to their safety and wellbeing. 

How to implement: 

  • Develop inclusive policies: Ensure that your TRM policy includes clear guidelines and support mechanisms tailored for LGBTQ+ employees. 
  • Pre-trip risk assessments: Offer personalised risk assessments while respecting the privacy of those who haven't disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity at work. Make sure you consider the destination the employee has been asked to go to, including laws and cultural sensitivities.  
  • Communication channels: Maintain open lines of communication for employees to discuss any concerns or specific needs they might have prior to travel. 

2. Partner with a Travel Management Company that can offer 24/7 support 

Selecting the right travel management company (TMC) can be a game-changer. A TMC that provides round-the-clock assistance and understands the nuances of LGBTQ+ travel can alleviate many of the associated risks and stresses. 

How to implement: 

  • Choose an experienced TMC: Opt for a TMC like Travel Counsellors for Business that has a proven track record in managing diverse travel needs. 
  • Dedicated support: We offer a dedicated point of contact and 24/7 traveller support, ensuring that all employees, including LGBTQ+ travellers, are supported throughout their journey, whatever time zone they’re in.  
  • Resource availability: Confirm that the TMC provides resources and advice on LGBTQ+-friendly destinations and service

3. Equip travellers with the right technology

Access to the right technology can significantly enhance travel experiences, making it easier for LGBTQ+ employees to stay informed and secure. 

How to implement: 

  • Mobile apps: Provide access to apps that offer real-time travel updates, local LGBTQ+ resources, and emergency contacts. 
  • Privacy and security: Ensure that the technology respects user privacy and offers robust security features to protect sensitive information.

4. Consider alternative travel options

For some destinations, travel may pose higher risks for LGBTQ+ employees. In such cases, consider alternative options to ensure their safety and peace of mind.  

How to implement: 

  • Shorter trips: Where possible, opt for shorter trips or day visits instead of extended stays in high-risk areas. 
  • Flexible arrangements: Offer flexible travel arrangements that allow employees to choose the safest and most comfortable travel plans – and reassure them that they have the right to turn down a trip without fear of repercussions.  
  • Teleconferencing: If you really can’t be sure of your employees’ safety, consider teleconferencing. It’s not the same as the personal touch and the connection that comes with in-person interactions, but safety absolutely has to come first.  

5. Seek feedback from travellers

Feedback is crucial in improving travel policies and practices. Engaging directly with your employees will provide valuable insights into their experiences and how you can better support them. 

How to implement: 

  • Surveys and interviews: Conduct regular surveys and one-on-one interviews with LGBTQ+ travellers to gather feedback on their travel experiences. 
  • Focus groups: Create focus groups to discuss specific issues faced by LGBTQ+ employees and collectively propose solutions. 
  • Policy adjustments: Use the feedback to make necessary adjustments to your travel policies and practices, ensuring they remain relevant and effective. 

Final thoughts 

Supporting LGBTQ+ business travellers goes beyond compliance - it reflects a company's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and employee wellbeing. By incorporating these five tips, businesses can create a safer and more supportive travel environment for all employees, fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect. 

If you're looking to enhance your company's travel policies and support systems, consider partnering with Travel Counsellors for Business. With our expertise and dedication to personalised service, we can help ensure that every journey is safe, secure, and inclusive – while being tailored to the unique needs of each individual traveller. Get in touch and be safe in the knowledge that your travellers will be looked after.

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