The very nature of entrepreneurship is risky. Sound decision making is the foundation upon which all successful businesses are built. Balancing potential gains against probable losses is critical in creating a safe, healthy, and profitable work environment.
Risk management strategies should be part of a small business startup mentality. Including risk management in your initial business plan helps you respond calmly to predictable obstacles. This experience, in turn, prepares you to deal with the unforeseeable. Recognizing risk at a small business is a matter of learning to objectively assess your environment, your task, your tools, and your resources. A hazard can only be managed after it has been identified. This proactive stance is the best way to determine whether or how a risk can be eliminated or mitigated at a small business, and that is the essence of risk management.
Your risk management leadership team should be able to:
- Assess situations critically and objectively
- Analyze large amounts of data to identify trends and patterns
- Prioritize risk to properly allocate resources
- Impart knowledge in a concise and meaningful manner
- Make thoughtful, well-developed recommendations
Your safety and compliance teams form the backbone of your risk management program. They should be equipped and entrusted to make critical decisions and allocate valuable resources in order to create a safe work environment. Their commitment determines the success or failure of your safety and risk management plan across the organization. When employees see upper management supporting these leaders with the necessary tools and resources to improve safety, they, too, will look for ways to contribute. This employee buy-in is invaluable in promoting the safe, efficient work environment all businesses strive to achieve.