Risk and Reward: How Are You Managing Risk?

Risk is something that we all think about – regularly. But have you ensured proper protections are in place for your organization to avoid risk?

It’s become clear to me that staff is our greatest resource – they are the ones who makes everything happen. But personnel can also be one of our biggest risks if we do not manage staff duties appropriately.  When you are focused on your mission and dealing with the urgent, it’s easy to put off creating the necessary procedures to mitigate risk and ensure staff has the support they need.

You’ve heard the phrase “doing more with less”, but at some point, more isn’t always possible.  Managing your team’s workload is crucial for them to be happy and productive, but even more important is ensuring that there is up-to-date documentation and cross-training for every duty.  Documentation takes time and effort, and it’s often put on the back burner in order to deal with more pressing issues.  However, taking the time to document and cross-train will ultimately serve your organization well and allow it to flourish.  Appropriate documentation and cross-training will allow staff the flexibility to the take time off needed to enjoy life outside of work, and it ensures that an action plan and knowledge base is in place if a team member needs to be out unexpectedly.   Having a plan in place for the unexpected will help you support your team members and to continue to provide services.

As leaders we need to ensure all duties and processes are documented so that someone else could pick up the documentation, understand it, and do what is needed.   Cross-train and have back-ups for all duties so that someone else could step in as needed to support other team members.  This encouragement may seem rudimentary, but the cost of not having a plan in place can be catastrophic.  The reward, however, will be transformational.

Jenne Vanderbout, Ed.D
Chief Operating Officer
Support Kansas City, Inc.

About the Author

Jenne Vanderbout

For the benefit of the nonprofit sector everywhere, we wanted to provide resources for ways we can continue to operate and grow within this era. And once social distancing begins to fade, what lessons can we take from this to improve our operations permanently. Come back often for more updates.