Working Around the Cracks: Leading an Unsafe Business Effectively
Running a business means having to endure numerous threats on a regular basis. For the vast majority of businesses out there, the threats are small-scale, but they are still important. There are viruses or complaining customers that can put the spanner in the works, but the fact is that there will be times when a business becomes unsafe due to various threats, such as natural or man-made. There are things that we all need to do to ensure that we are operating effectively when our business has become unsafe or threatened. Let’s show you some of the things that you should remember.
Identifying the Threat
When it comes to threats, you need to understand a number of methods to solve the problem. Sometimes the threat is very simple; it can be something like theft, which means that we need to upgrade our premises to install CCTV or padlocks. Other times there will be methods that are not so obvious. These are the types of threats that will require a lot more professional support.
When it comes to something like subsidence or unstable ground, it’s vital that we identify the threat by getting professionals to conduct specialised tests. If there is an issue, bringing in the professionals that have the right equipment, like vac trucks that excavate underground, can help to identify the threat and prevent the problem. A lot of the time it can be difficult to address what the real issue is. That’s why we have to be comprehensive in identifying threats.
Managing Expectations With Employees
Employees are going to feel that they are being threatened if there is a workplace threat. In an environment where there are natural disasters, we, as employers, have a duty of care toward our employees. We need to remember that employees deserve to have fair and equitable treatment. Giving them a variety of resources to do their job properly doesn’t just mean they feel better, but it also means the work is being done.
Of course, during the pandemic, there was a wide variety of remote working capabilities. If employees feel secure and are happier doing this, we should provide this. When a business becomes unsafe, we need to provide an abundance of support to our employees. When they feel that their workplace is threatening their ability to thrive, we have to make sure that they are happy doing what they do. Managing expectations is not always easy, but we have to remember that making sure they feel secure is more of a priority than actually keeping the business ticking over.
Being Reactive in the Right Way
When you identify a problem and have the appropriate solution, this is going to ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to solve the problem. But the reaction is something that can easily turn into overreaction. When our business becomes unsafe, we’ve got to remember that we need to stay calm. This is a time when employees look to us for guidance and support. Having that ability to be reactive, but calm, ensures that we are going to give employees the best possible impression of our abilities to thrive as an employer.
The problem we have, when it comes to external threats, is that we are not able to necessarily control the reactions of our employees. But this is where leading by example is always going to make a big difference. Much like any ship that is going down, the importance of being a leader that stimulates urgency amongst employees and gives them confidence, despite what is going on, is worthwhile. It may feel like this is not being honest or transparent. But this is why we still need to have confidence in our abilities. Employees will always look to the leader for the “template” on how to react. It’s our duty as an employer to not stimulate office gossip. Therefore, we’ve got to be an effective and reactive employer.
Providing Transparency in Times of Trouble
When a business feels unsafe and it is not operating as it should, choosing our words carefully is so important. We must remember that we have the opportunity to make sure that, regardless of the fires that are going on around us, we are honest, truthful, but we can still stimulate hope amongst employees. This may seem like two opposing trends, but when a business seems unsafe, it’s not about putting a plaster over the wound and telling employees that things are okay. Things might not be okay, but this is why, when you are telling people that things may be going wrong, you have a plan that has been well-calculated to ensure that every aspect of the business, including its employees, will bounce back to the way it was.
There will be employees that want to flee the sinking ship, but the reality is that when employees feel like this, you’ve got to decide if it is worth taking the initiative to change their minds or not.
Unfortunately, there are people who have always made up their minds and they have decided that they are going to leap, but the reality is that you have to embody the “it’s just business” approach here. Having an employee who decides to leave is not an easy thing to deal with. However, we must remember that there are going to be casualties. And unfortunately, as much of a human leader as we would like to be, when there are components of our business that are unsafe, we’ve got to come to terms with the fact that there are going to be people who are not willing to stay and will want to save themselves- there is nothing wrong with this. People have their own reasons that they want to leave a business, however, you’ve got to come to some sense of peace in the fact that when people look to leave, you can still pick yourself up and carry on.
When a business is unsafe, there are so many components to consider. It’s not an easy thing to ever come to terms with, but when you are operating a business that may appear unstable or unsafe for whatever reason, there are ways and means for you to solve the problem.