Managing Risks at Work

Going about our everyday business involves some risk. When we go out to get the mail, there’s a chance we’ll be hit by a texting driver, for instance. It’s not a very high chance, but it’s still there. Going to work or school can also feel dangerous in the year 2018, especially with the frequent reports of mass shootings that occur in offices and schools. There’s a debate about whether or not the number of mass shootings is actually increasing, but the ones that are happening do appear to be deadlier than they have been in the past. There are two basic types of security we need to think about in the office. Obviously, our physical safety is number one, but we can’t ignore our financial well-being and security either.

Staying safe

Every office should have a safety plan in place. This covers everything from asbestos training
to evacuations. That means people know where to go in case of a natural disaster or active shooter event. Safety drills should be performed on a regular basis, although the meaning of “regular” is up to each office. Once or twice a year should work fine for most offices, while once a month is a bit excessive. People are more likely to ignore something that becomes too routine. As part of the safety plan, each office should take a hard look at its access points. When a visitor walks into the front door, are they greeted by someone and asked to sign in? Are they asked for ID? Visiting a typical office shouldn’t feel like visiting a nuclear facility, but basic security measures do need to be in place so random people can’t just walk in off the street and start roaming around the building. Consider incorporating a
visitor management system for risk management. Handing out visitor passes is a good idea, for one. Requiring people to identify themselves when they come in is an even better one. Workplace violence can occur in offices of any size, and it doesn’t always involve someone with a gun. In some cases, smaller and more intimate offices may even be considered more appealing targets. Asking spouses and loved ones to check in at the front desk first may feel like a hassle initially, but it shouldn’t take long before everyone considers it the new normal.

Financial security

The rate of unemployment is low in America right now, which should mean that wages are increasing. That’s not the case, however, for a variety of reasons. People can have relatively good jobs and still feel like they’re not quite as OK financially as they would like to be. It would be nice if businesses gave out regular raises or at least annual cost-of-living adjustments, but for many employees, that’s simply not happening. Employers can provide 401(k)s, but they may not be matching employee contributions. If not, they should provide additional stock advice to help workers get the most out of their stock portfolios. Workers should know about sustainable investing strategies and be aware of index funds like VFTSX. After all, it’s hard to take advantage of something if you don’t know it exists as an option, and many people go through life blissfully unaware of the benefits of consulting with a financial adviser. A good employer will want their employees to have choices when it comes to how they spend their money. It’s one thing to tell employees, “We care about you,” but it’s another thing entirely to take active measures that back up those words.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.