Managing risk will improve office life!
Skills shortages, caused by a failure to fill vacancies. A drop in currency value, caused by market uncertainty post-Brexit. Fines and financial risk, caused by a failure to comply with regulations.
Whether it's catching the train to work, crossing the road, investing in financial products, or making health or lifestyle choices, life is full of risk.
Risk is inherent in everything we do. After all, whole industries such as insurance and gambling are founded on the management of risk. It is evolutionary in nature - the level of risk can change and so too can our perceptions of it.
Follow these top tips to improve risk management:
- Be clear about your remit - Exactly what part of the business and what activities and tasks are you responsible for?
- Identify risks as early as you can - It's never too soon to start thinking about risk. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be to manage the risk. Think about risk management at the start of every project or task. What Early Warning Indicators (EWIs) can we track for different risks? Risk management should be embedded into all of your work processes and corporate culture.
- Be positive - Don't fixate on negative (downside) risks. Risks can be positive too (upside), presenting opportunities and enabling us to take advantage of a given event or situation.
- Describe risk appropriately - It is good practice to create a risk 'string', distinguising between cause and effect.
- Estimate and prioritise risk - Use the probability (likelihood) and impact (severity) matrix to assess and prioritise all known risks.
- Take responsibility and ownership - If you see something is wrong, such as, a potential safety issue, suspected fraud, or security breaches, take responsibility rather than waiting for someone else to sort the problem out. Risk management works best when everyone is empowered to speak out and take action.
- Learn from past mistakes - Use historical data and anecdotes to learn from past mistakes and ensure they are never repeated.
- Use appropriate strategies (risk responses) to manage risk - Use the 4T's model (Terminate, Transfer, Treat, Tolerate) to decide how best to manage risk.
- Document all risks in a risk register - By capturing all risks across the company, you will be able to see 'the bigger picture' of your entire risk exposure, which will improve your information sharing and accountability. Remember to document who is responsible for what and appoint a risk owner too.
- Keep monitoring and reviewing - The level of risk we face is continually changing, with new risks emerging and others becoming less critical. By being proactive and regularly monitoring your exposure, you will be ready to act when the time comes.