Limiting and protecting against risk is a significant consideration for all companies. An oft-overlooked component of that risk is the aspect created and assumed by the employees. Employees are an extension of the company, so it is crucial that the decision-makers account for them as such.
The coverage provided by a basic policy does extend to protecting the employees by default. In other words, if the company is protected against a particular risk, then the employee is as well while acting on behalf of the company. The danger is not also evaluating employees as distinct part of the company. Employees present risk that may not be obvious when considering the company as a whole.
When defining a policy, the biggest mistake that companies make is that they do not thoroughly account for their employees. This is vital for protecting them and for protecting the company from their actions. In companies with many employees, it is important to hire a third-party firm that specializes in employee risk.
Regularly Assessing Risk
When it comes to risk protection, a common mistake is not regularly assessing needs. Separate from the terms of the policy, a company should reevaluate its risk at least on a yearly basis. In addition, employees should be a central aspect of this reassessment. Employees are one of the components that are most likely to change between one assessment to the next.
A crucial role in protecting the employees is proper safety protocols. Since risk will evolve, so must the safety protocols. In other words, each time the company assesses its risk, it must reassess the safety protocols to determine if they are still meeting the needs of the company and the employees.
Simply having safety protocols in place is not enough. The problem with many safety protocols is that they come into play infrequently, so employees are usually unprepared. For this reason, it is imperative to have ongoing safety training in place. Even if the safety protocols do not change, the safety training should be repeated each period.
In some cases, risk does not affect the employees to the same degree that it affects the company. It is only human nature in these circumstances to be somewhat lax. Many companies have had great success overcoming this issue through a rewards program. If an employee bonus is tied to the company's risk, then it will be in their nature to be alert.
Even the smallest companies comprise many different moving parts. When assessing and protecting against risk, all of these moving parts must be accounted for. The employees are a moving part that is often not accounted for properly. It is easy to view them as a separate entity, but when it comes to risk, this couldn't be further from the truth.