Guest Post by Alexie Spencer
A good leader is necessary to run a successful business. Regardless of the industry you’re in and the size of your organization, a leader should guide the business and the people within it towards growth. In order to promote this progress, you need to cultivate a working environment that fosters safety and security—especially during crises.
While it’s your job as a leader to maintain a safe workplace and healthy staff, it can also help your business grow in the long run. It may even help lower illness costs by 20-40%, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and raise team morale, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports. Plus, protecting your employees is just the right thing to do. As a leader, you need to view employee protection in a more holistic way, beyond its health and safety aspects—protection should also include both psychosocial and legal elements.
Assess your risks and exposures
COVID-19 put a focus on how risk assessment and HR response make up a company’s first line of defense against a crisis. This is why you need to conduct an end-to-end risk assessment covering all of the following: health and safety impact, operational and geographical risks, customer impact, cybersecurity, and financial impact. This comprehensive assessment allows you to create a calculated risk index, which can become your baseline in identifying best- and worst-case scenarios.
When you’re able to gauge these scenarios, you can create contingency plans to protect your employees and your essential business functions. Making sure that daily operations continue also gives your employees job security and a sense of normalcy, as the pandemic has shown.
Start from within and change your company culture
We explain that every company should have a written Vision, Mission, and Value Statements as a starting point in our ‘What’s Culture’ write-up. These written statements serve as foundations for a company’s culture, which is constantly evolving. Effective leadership calls for adjusting long-established company protocols when the situation calls for change.
Facing a crisis as huge as the current pandemic requires a shift in attitude and mindset in most organizations. A study from Quartz and Qualtrics suggests that organizational culture has improved during the pandemic, according to 37% of 2,100 working adults. Companies have reassessed the way they conduct their operations, with some adopting remote working arrangements. This led to a surge of innovation in business processes using technology. And since COVID-19 has disrupted both work and home life, respect and consideration for each team member has grown more important. Good company culture makes employees feel more purposeful in the work they do, and this is why you should invest in it.
When all else fails, restructure your business
Employees need to be able to trust in your business sense and feel secure within the company. And, sometimes, a business restructure is just what you need. It can help not just the business, but also the people within the organization. This is evident especially when you need to scale operations.
Small businesses may have been running fine as a sole proprietorship at first, but they will need to restructure as the business grows and the number of staff increases. To not do so will increase the chances of the employees suffering if anything should happen to the business. The bigger you get the more legal protection you need.
The structure you use will also likely depend on where your business is based. For instance, states like Massachusetts offer more flexible management structures to limited liability corporations, as well as protection from double taxation. This is why forming an LLC in Massachusetts would be a good idea to help protect yourself and your employees, as well as allowing your business to grow more agile as you scale. However, it may not be the case in other states. For one, LLCs in California are made to pay an annual tax of $800, on top of an LLC fee that’s dependent on the business’ income. You need to decide whether the flexible management structure that forming an LLC or incorporating would involve will be worth the additional costs. If you can’t afford the taxes, you won’t be protecting your employees as the business will likely go under.
As a leader, it’s paramount that you prioritize your employees’ welfare. They’re the ones who help you carry out your daily operations, and you should be the one to provide them with growth and security.
Article for the exclusive use of ingage.net
Prepared by Alexie Spencer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alexie Spencer is a freelance writer who has made it her goal to follow the latest tech trends in business. She is interested in covering ways employees can further their career and hopes her articles inspire them to take the next step. In her free time, she likes to scuba dive.