A risk management plan is more essential for businesses in 2020 than its ever been. Human resources issues such as sexual harassment have been much in the news and may be prompting increased employee sensitivity or confusion. Drugs laws are being reformed in many areas of the country and may require your HR departments to review its policies. Issues of discrimination can be complex in any year, and 2020 is no exception.
A risk management plan can ensure that sensitive and evolving issues are handled in a way that provides a legal, safe, and respectful workplace for all your employees.
Risk management relies on four principal cornerstones. First, your policies must follow the law, including evolving law. Second, your policies must be clear. Third, your policies must be known to all employees. Four, they must provide specific actionable steps. If employees want to report a discrimination incident, for instance, they need to know what steps to follow.
Why? Because risk management can protect you only to the extent that you are in compliance with all applicable laws and made your policies clear and transparent. Did an employee harass another in your workplace, for instance? You are protected as long as harassment was clearly against both law and your policies, and your policies were clear and applied to all employees.
Similarly, if your human resources department made a decision to terminate an employee for harassment, that employee should have no legal complaint grounds if it was made clear that the behavior was not tolerated and grounds for dismissal.
So, here’s some tips on how to develop a risk management plan for the new year.
Review any lessons learned.
Ask all relevant departments to review any lessons they learned about risk management over 2019. Focus on both strengths and weaknesses. What went particularly well? Were any challenges overcome? Does anything need to be improved going forward? What, and why?
If any situations were particularly strong or weak, be sure to document both. If document wasn’t done at the time, you may need to do it now.
Determine what to include in your plan.
What will fall under the purview of your risk management plan in the new year? To some degree, this may depend on your company and your industry. Some companies, for instance, have never experienced discrimination on the basis of past medical history, but for other companies, it may have become a pressing issue.
Decide who will help develop the plan.
Decide who the key stakeholders are in the development of your plan. Human resources are likely one, for all companies. Legal or compliance departments may also be important to include, if your company has them.
Take the time to consider outside consultants, who can be helpful with specialized expertise and overviews of the risk management landscape.
Develop what you need for your plan.
What do you need to develop your plan? Interviews? Meetings? Data review of cases that are relevant or can provide models?
Then, work out the time to create a plan and move forward.
Barracuda Consulting Can Help in Changing Times
Times are changing, and risk management needs to change with it. It can be a very good idea to involve a consulting firm like Barracuda Consulting in your development of a new risk management plan. Contact us today to revise your risk management plan for 2020.