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Lessons in Risk Management Over COVID-19

The coronavirus has unsurprisingly spurred many organizations to shift the way they operate and conduct business. This unprecedented event rocked the world, and in turn has made planning ahead for potential risks top of mind for small businesses and large organizations alike.

In a corporate context, many businesses have suffered dramatically throughout the pandemic, not only dealing with dramatic drops in business, but from the financial impact of fraudulent activity related to COVID-19, including theft, scams, or employee management issues (just to name a few). Now, more than ever, risk management strategies are vital to protect against further losses and to ensure that your business is agile and resilient, no matter what obstacles lay ahead in 2021.

In this blog we’re imparting our wisdom on a few key lessons about risk management, learned from our experience as Toronto’s Corporate Investigation Experts, helping businesses that have suffered through COVID-19. Read on to discover strategies to protect your business and more effectively weather any storm.

 

1. Prioritize People

 The first step to risk management is understanding that your biggest asset is the people working for your organization. The pandemic has caused a variety of stressors and complex challenges for your workforce. Whether it’s staying on top of job-related tasks or keeping children entertained at home, the lengthening to-do list can leave your workers feeling emotionally and physically depleted. This new normal has resulted in a number of risks that your organization will need to navigate.

Put your people first by speaking to them in the development of your risk management plan; this can help you gain a deeper understanding of their processes during this new normal. After this research and analysis phase, your organization can respond to the risks more effectively.

 

2. Enhance Operational Expertise

 The next lesson that organizations should implement for effective risk management is to enhance operational expertise. There is little value in developing well-thought-out risk management plans, if critical parties within your organization don’t know how to deliver them! Similar to how fire drills keep people sharp when emergencies occur, keeping delivery teams sharp for risk management purposes is important.

Try piloting some of your risk management initiatives and support your decisions with evidence-based methods. To iterate on your strategies, base your decisions on user testing and peer reviews that offer a constructive feedback loop. Building operational resilience plans is necessary for ensuring your organization is not only ready for when risk arises, but that the solutions are tried and tested to be effective.

 

3. Create a Risk-Aware Culture

Another lesson in risk management your organization should consider is creating a risk-aware culture. Integrating risk-awareness into the culture of your organization requires on-going effort. Awareness empowers people and teaches them how they can play a role in your risk management agenda. Members of your organization should feel comfortable voicing their opinions, along with having honest conversations about how these initiatives may affect costs and scheduling.

Risk transformation can be successful with the right risk management leadership to guide it along. It is not your leadership team’s role to strike fear into the hearts of your team, but instead allow them to solve important issues by giving them the tools to aid their discovery.

 

4. Plan for the Short-Term and Long-Term

 When tackling risk management issues, planning for the short term and long term is necessary. Balancing immediate risks with longer term ones, calls for strategic planning and prioritization. The short-term risks may instigate a sense of urgency, but if your organization doesn’t plan for the long-term risks, then you won’t be prepared if those risks do arise. Some industry experts refer to this as “horizon scanning”; proactively identifying and mitigating potential risks in the future, in tandem with preventing known (more short term) risks to help support decision making.

 

5. Recognize Your Limitations

Innovative strategies for risk management may be critical but consider your internal risk management resourcing. Does your organization have the right expertise, tools, and time on hand to develop the strategies you need? Your organization simply may not have the budget or scope to handle large risk management planning projects. Now what?

Weigh your options to determine the right approach to risk management within your organization. Private Investigators may be able to offer you an affordable and effective way to manage your organization’s risk. Serving as an “Undercover Boss”, they can serve as an impartial, trusted third party advisor to identify potential areas of risk, and ensure that the necessary processes are in place to effectively deal with areas of concern before they become issues.

 

For more information on Risk Management Corporate Investigations offered through Toronto’s leading Private Investigator team, reach out to Star Quality Private Investigations today!

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