Archive for October, 2012

Plan Ahead for the Unexpected

Whether you have 5 employees, 50 employees, or 500 employees, there are certain key people whose sudden absence would cause a huge disruption in the organization.

For instance, what would happen if the person who processes payroll information was called away because of a death in the family the day before payroll was due?  Or, the employee who is really good at troubleshooting machinery problems (even though that’s not their main job) was injured on the job and out for several weeks?  Or if you, the business owner, were in a serious accident that left you unable to manage the company?

It’s human nature not to want to think about bad things happening.  But it is foolish and risky for a company to ignore the possibility of scenarios such as those described above.  So here are some questions to think about:

  • Are our critical processes well-documented?
  • Is there a designated person  who is familiar with and can back up the primary person in each major company function?
  • Who do I, the business owner, trust to step in and keep the company going if I am unable to perform my duties?  Do they understand my goals and can they keep things on track in my absence?

Addressing these questions and putting a plan in place will not completely eliminate risk.  But not having a plan at all is a recipe for disaster if the unexpected does in fact happen.  Investing the time to plan for the unexpected will pay dividends if and when that occurs.

Sharon Hamersley is Principal of Keys to Performance, Your Resource for Workplace Productivity. Sharon helps businesses hire, train and retain outstanding employees and create workplaces where everyone can do their best work.  For more information, visit her web site or call her at 614-395-9440.