When you’re busy managing a company, it’s easy to overlook potential safety risks and the possible liability these risks represent.
Several sound business reasons exist for devoting time to building a safe workplace, such as:
Every business has slightly different needs when it comes to safety. However, once you focus on workplace safety, you can take steps to minimize your company’s risk. Here are six simple, cost-effective ways to reduce your company’s vulnerability and keep your workplace and your profits safe.
For many businesses, documenting safety procedures doesn’t have to be complicated. Depending on your industry, all you may need to do is keep a list of employee contact numbers updated so that managers can easily reach their people in the event of bad weather or any other emergency. Other basic safety measures include:
Starting from scratch with your safety efforts? The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor and Health Administration (OSHA) offers businesses a wealth of free workplace safety resources.
Nothing discourages troublemakers like a tidy workplace. While it may seem minor, keeping your buildings, landscape and worksite clean, neat and in good repair tells potential thieves your business is likely to be as well guarded as it is well tended. This means you should:
Appearances alone may be enough to discourage lawbreakers, as well as give you and your employees a workplace to point to with pride.
No manager can be everywhere and know everything. That’s why you should listen to your employees when they express concerns about workplace safety. Use your team as extra pairs of eyes, since they may see things you didn’t notice, such as:
To promote a safety culture, be sure to thank employees for bringing issues to your attention rather than fussing about the cost of repairs or additional security measures.
If your business handles cash regularly, you probably already follow basic safety precautions, such as varying your time and route to deposit the cash.
To reduce the risk of embezzlement, establish clear, consistent rules for how much cash employees may access or handle at any one time; what documentation is required and when to record the intake or outflow of cash; and where and how much cash should be stored on site.
You may already train your employees to recognize phishing attacks sent by email, but do you train them in other aspects of workplace safety?
Depending on your industry and location, you may need to remind employees to wear protective clothing, keep their employee badge visible, drive company vehicles safely, walk to their cars in pairs, and more. It’s also a good idea to develop and communicate procedures for what to do in the event they receive a suspicious package, face an upset customer, or find unauthorized personnel in a secure work area such as your server room.
People tend to underestimate the cumulative effect that long-term stress from bullying or threats can have on their workforce. What’s more, many company leaders are uncomfortable confronting bad behavior, thinking that a shouting match between employees will blow over, or that a raging client is just having a bad day.
In reality, studies show such behaviors are often precursors to more extreme behavior, even violence. That’s why workplace safety experts recommend you adopt a zero-tolerance policy and call the police immediately if a customer or employee becomes threatening or aggressive. It’s also important to be aware of and stop any bullying or intimidation going on in your workplace.
Giving some thought to your safety plans and procedures reassures potential buyers that proper precautions have been put in place to ensure the health and continuity of your company.
Following these six suggested steps will also better position you when negotiating with buyers for your company. Buyers loathe risk and liability. Having documented (and followed) safety procedures will give them peace of mind that the company they are acquiring is a safe work environment from day one.
If the idea of casting a wide net for buyers intrigues you and the concept of an equity firm possibly being in your future is novel, then you need to attend a Generational Equity exit planning conference soon.
Our meetings are designed to educate business owners on all facets of buyers and M&A activity today and going forward. The time you spend there will be well worth the investment when you decide the time is right to sell your business.
To learn more about Generational Equity and our conferences, please use the following links:
By Jessica Johns Pool.
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We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
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