All businesses plan for risk. Whether that be in the form of a competitor, over-reliance on a product, reputational damage or physical safety, risk is everywhere. One risk which is not always taken seriously, however, is staff not taking risk seriously.
If you don’t have staff on board with monitoring risk, you put your company in a risky position. It may seem like common sense, but many businesses map out the threats they foresee to their business 12 or more months in advance, communicate it briefly and then return to business as normal. Risk is not the type of environment that you can “set and forget.”
So what can you do to combat this? The most important thing your company can do is to realise that tone needs to be set from the top – if your leaders are risk-aware, it will have a trickle-down effect to the rest of the staff. And these leaders need to have regular conversations about the risks that the business is facing, with people from all levels of the business. This open dialogue should also help to break down barriers between different sections or levels of the business – not only can risk be mitigated with people power, it can also bring staff together in the process.
Four tips to get your leaders on board with risk monitoring:
1. Set up monthly meetings with key leaders and discuss key business risks and how their teams are impacted
2. Agree on a number of critical threats to the business at the beginning of each year and have leaders prioritize them on a quarterly basis – this will provide insight into what teams are concerned about and keep risk top of mind
3. Have reporting systems in place so that leaders and staff are rewarded for thinking about how external/internal projects or actions could impact the business
4. Celebrate instances where risk has been averted – throw a team lunch or thank the people who helped mitigate the circumstances
Increased awareness of critical risks will help to stabilise your organisation’s position in the market and transform employee’s thinking about how their actions can influence the company.
We think about risk a lot at PSAI, and we hope you do too. If you’d like to chat about the risks your business faces, give me a call on 0428 911 450