Leading Through Change Webinar Series – Should We Travel During The Pandemic?
Ashley Davis, VP of Community Engagement – PunchAlert, has partnered with Stacey Porter with Porter Global Security, LLC to educate and empower communities to lead through change on our post-pandemic travel webinar series. In addition to sharing a passion for Security, they enjoy being able to learn and share their knowledge and experiences with the security industry.
During this webinar, Ashley and Stacey discussed certain regions of the country putting their reopenings on pause and the importance of risk/ threat assessments prior to reopening. Some of the other topics covered were the European Union (EU) extending travel bans, the strain on mental health, and what virtual travel can do to help you get through until we’re able to travel safely again. We also had two surprise guest speakers lend their expertise on workplace violence and virtual travel and how that ties into mental health during this time of uncertainty.
On the topic of reopening, we need to first address Risk/ Threat Assessments. These assessments are critical to making educated decisions on your business reopening and welcoming back employees and guests safely. Below are examples of assessments Porter Global Security can help with:
Physical Security – an independent assessment of your current security procedure. We would identify key assets and security threats. Review your existing security procedures and systems and provide recommendations for cost-effective ways in which security at your facility can be enhanced. A brief outline of the typical assessment process can be found here.
School Safety Security – a wide range of School Campus Security Assessments. These Security Threats or Vulnerability Assessments should be part of any responsible school campus administrative program not only just for reopening in the current COVID environment. Issues that could be overlooked can leave schools vulnerable to lawsuits, damage, theft, and possible violence. Learn more about what to expect when a Security Assessment is conducted at your facility.
Church Risk Assessment – Houses of worship need reasonable precautions at their place or worship and to keep it safe for those who use it. Houses of worship are soft targets, because the doors to the church are open for everyone to enter. An annual assessment and evaluation should be conducted no matter what size church you occupy. This will give you a good understanding of the risks that may be associated with the day-to-day operations as well as framework for reopening. Learn more about the expectations of a Church Risk Assessment.
During the webinar, Stacey discussed the importance of safety measures that the airline industry can implement to ensure the safety of the traveling public during post-pandemic travel. This can be done by ensuring the airline industries are having risk assessments conducted. That will give them a better understanding of what security/safety measures they can implement and what will be the best solutions to establish and maintain safe environments for both employees and guests. Lastly, security is ever-changing and evolving and we do not want to become complacent by focusing too much attention on the health and safety measures, which is important. However, that’s all for not, when vulnerabilities still exist for bad actors wanting to take advantage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assessing your businesses security/ safety strengths and weaknesses will help you be able to make an educated decision on how to prevent small and even bigger disasters from occurring.
In the second part of the webinar we discussed mental health and the importance of companies taking the time to check in with their employees and staff. Making sure to get their feedback and keep them involved and engaged in the discussions. Allowing them this vested interest and a “seat at the table” will make them feel valued and ultimately heard. If you are interested in learning more about a communication solution that can help streamline critical information to the right stakeholder groups and also collect just as important information from your stakeholder groups to help analyze the data and support you in making educated decisions I encourage you to check out PunchAlert.
During this topic of mental health, we had a special guest Felix P. Nater. CSC – Certified Security Consultant / Advisor / Workplace Violence Prevention/ Manufacturing/ Processing/ Production – who addressed some important factors below to consider surrounding mental health leading to workplace violence especially now that businesses are strategizing on how to reopen successfully and safely:
Covid-19 Return to Work will present intentional and unintentional challenges and opportunities, being prepared in dealing with them will be essential.
Being prepared essentially means understanding that returning employees will not be bringing “normal” behaviours and attitudes after being sheltered at home, away from family, friends, or even not drawing a salary. Emotions will be running high and patience will be low. Mental Health will be a serious contender requiring management’s coping skills to be prepared.
Workplace Violence Prevention is not a moment in time but an ongoing process involving multiple intervention strategies. It is not the threat of the active shooter but the conduct, attitude and behaviour the environment creates that rationalizes and justifies the retaliatory threat of violence. Nonfatal acts like verbal disagreement, arguments, confrontations, insubordination, failure to follow directions/instruction will all be part of the continuum behaviour that leads to discipline or hostility.
These issues will play a role in how Employees manage and cope at work.
- Unresolved pay issues
- Open medical bills
- Unusual demands
- Uninformed changes to position/assignment
- Loss of family members
- Time off
- Family Leave Act
Management must not begin to view the “Covid-19 Return to Work” as a “new normal” yet, but rather a “transition interim” towards a stabilized period where Employers and the Workforce can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
In as much as Employers have a duty and responsibility to provide for a safe and secure workplace (OSHA Duty to Warn Clause) how it is achieved is not a mandate but also a moral, ethical and legal obligation. Providing for a safe and secure workplace can be effectively implemented through organizational engagement.
Whether your business or an organization is a small, midsize or large size Employers having a workplace violence prevention mindset will aid the thinking approaches to managing #Covid19 Return to Work Risk Mitigation Challenges and Opportunities during this “emergence phase”.
Because you may have a different emphasis and approach to workplace violence prevention you may not understand risk factors as important and may not find contributing factors as relevant as I may. However, both are important in prevention and mitigation. Managing risk during this “emergence phase” will be full of challenges and opportunities.
In Summary, you are apt to find more frequent outbursts, verbal altercations and acts of defiance in preventing the feared surprise attacker (active shooter). Be prepared for the angry workforce.
Depending on what side of the issues you are on Covid19 Return to Work Risk Mitigation may or may not present challenges or opportunities. Consider it being prepared, committed and invested.
Felix P. Nater, CSC
Nater Associates, Ltd.
Security Management Consultants,
New York and North Carolina Offices
Toll Free: 1-877-valu101 / Direct: 516-285-8484 / NC: 704-784-0260 / Fax: 1-917-338-2576
On the last part of our webinar Ashley completely surprised Stacey and the attendees again with another special guest, John Graham President of Travel World VR who gave us a little insight into how Virtual Reality Travel can bring us back some of our sanity in quarantine, which can have a positive impact on our mental health.
Ashley was excited about what John is currently working on and was happy to bring it to the table.
John Graham, Travel World VR – In these unrepresented times with the travel ban, we are hosting travel supplier video’s on our Travel World VR app for free. What started out as the ultimate marketing tool, which allows travel suppliers to continue to engage with our audience of travel professionals, can now be used by all of us sitting at home to experience the world around us from the comfort of our couch!
Video with John Graham – 6/23 China Global TV Networks interview
Stories featuring Travel World VR in the media
Travel World VR in the Press
FORBES MAGAZINE, March 18, 2020
TRAVEL WEEKLY MAGAZINE, March 27, 2020
Travel Research Online “Spotlight” Interview, April 9, 2020 (See bottom of page!)
VR World Tech Magazine, May 16, 2002
John C. Graham
Travel World VR, Inc.
We hope you enjoyed the webinar if you were able to attend and for those that were not as fortunate, we hope you find a lot of value in this blog. We would love to hear feedback from you on your challenges, successes, security insight, and what topics you would like to discuss on our webinar series. Stay tuned to our next webinar topic (date to be determined end of this month, beginning of next month). We look forward to having you join us!
Other links to shared resources:
- Conducting Risk/ Threat Assessments – https://www.porterglobalsecurity.net/
- Community Communication ~ The Future of Safety – https://punchalert.com/
- Global Crisis Ready Community Support Network – http://crisisreadycommunity.com/
- COVID-19 Resources for Destinations – https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-resources-destinations
- Americans Traveling Abroad – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/americans-traveling-abroad.html
- Traveling in Canada – https://caen-keepexploring.canada.travel/canada-nice
- Virtual Reality Travel Videos – https://www.travelworldvr.com/vr/