Posted: Tuesday 10 June 2014. Author: Capita HR solutions.
FIRST of all consider this: All 32 managers at the World Cup finals will have conducted an exercise in risk management. Questions such as what happens if Ronaldo gets injured? How many left backs do i need? Who should i bring that can effect real change when required? All of this will have been debated, pulled apart and resolved.
Now consider how often do we hear local companies use some variation on phrases such as "people are our most valuable asset" or "our staff are what sets us apart"; all the time - right? Yet how many of our businesses actually conduct risk assessments based on people issues?
Without blinking, companies will spend fortunes hiring internal and external audit teams to evaluate and manage financial risk; employing safety professionals and consultants to evaluate machinery and environmental risk and using information security experts to evaluate data risk - yet how many companies use their HR Department to evaluate the risks associated with the people in the business? Now if football managers operating in one of the most highly competitive environments in the world believe this type of exercise is vitally important, does it not seem completely illogical for local businesses to ignore risk associated with their 'most valuable asset', the commodity that 'sets them apart' and that gives them that competitive edge in the marketplace?
Risk management at its core is about considering the impact a risk will have on a business, balanced against the likelihood of it occurring.
Once that has been done the next step is to consider what mitigation can be put in place, ideally to remove the risk altogether or at least reduce the likelihood of it happening and minimise the damage it could cause. In human resource terms a people risk assessment will cover areas such as:
* resource: is the business over resourced and carrying too many passengers, or under-resourced where it is in danger of not delivering? Will the removal of two or three key players result in a shut down of operations? is there a single point of failure? Can we flex up or down as customer demand dictates?
* culture: are we focused on sending out the right messages? Have we engaged our workforce? Are we all pulling in the same direction? Do we run the risk of work to rule? Do we have a workplace dominated by poor employee relations and confrontational relationships?
* cost: is the cost of the workforce outstripping revenue from the product or service? Does the introduction of unpopular new procedures or systems outweigh potential industrial unrest and the time taken to get them introduced? Are we providing haute cuisine yet charging for takeaway?
* communication: do employees understand what is expected of them? Do we send the right messages? Do we listen to what employees are saying?
* ability: do we know if any skills gaps exist or if a change in process means current skills will not be sufficient moving forward?
Can we easily diversify? Are our staff multi-skilled?
Let's be smart folks. People risk management should be front and centre in your business planning - not just left to Mr Del Bosque and his colleagues.