4 Powerful Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

4 Powerful Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

The impact of employee engagement on a company’s culture, productivity and bottom line has gained increasing recognition in recent years. An engaged workforce contributes to better employee retention, increased job satisfaction, greater workplace loyalty and a stronger talent pool for new recruits. However, employers have to actively implement and maintain systems and processes that encourage engagement in order to reap the benefits of employees who are invested in their roles and workplace.

employee engagement

Employee engagement refers to an employee’s level of enthusiasm and involvement in their work and organisation. Contrary to common belief, it’s not a measure of job satisfaction – whilst that does play a role, employee engagement also includes factors such as opportunity growth, work-life balance, a sense of purpose and being recognised for your value and contributions.

Employees who are truly engaged are more invested in producing high-calibre work, committed to the company’s mission and willing to go the extra mile when needed. In contrast, disengaged employees can cause a decline in productivity, morale and an organisation’s chance at long-term business success. In fact, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report in 2022, employee disengagement cost the world $7.8 trillion in terms of lost productivity. For workplace leaders and managers who want to prevent employee disengagement from disadvantaging them, it is necessary to implement strategies that help improve the connection of their employees to their work.

Levels of Employee Engagement 

The engagement levels of different employees can be categorised into four categories which can help you get a feel for how engaged a certain person may be or the overall levels of employee engagement in your workplace. However, keep in mind that these categories are quite broad in their definitions and are meant to only serve as a guide- employee engagement is quite complex and relies on many different factors that can change how someone feels about their job on a day-to-day basis.

Each of the four categories is explained below.

1. Engaged

Engaged employees are truly invested in their job – they feel a sense of purpose in the work they do and feel motivated to excel and grow with it. They have both an emotional and intellectual connection with what they do and an overall positive opinion about the organisation. Their attitude and commitment also encourage other employees to stay engaged and contribute towards a strong employee culture

2. Moderately engaged

Moderately engaged employees perform well and are also invested in their job to a certain degree. They most likely feel some purpose in their job and have a positive attitude about their workplace. However, they may dislike particular aspects of the company, be in roles that don’t leverage their talents or struggle with the organisational culture. In other cases, they may be very happy with their role and workplace but lack social engagement with their co-workers – feeling as if one doesn’t belong or isn’t supported can also take away from strong employee engagement.

3. Not engaged

Unengaged employees are not invested or attached to the organisation’s mission and purpose. This does not necessarily mean they don’t perform their work duties adequately or meet the expectations of their role. However, they are unlikely to feel any emotional or intellectual investment in their role and this can be detrimental to workplace creativity and innovation, employee culture and the quality of work produced. Unengaged employees are also unlikely to go the extra mile, suggest new ideas or build bonds with their co-workers – they will usually perform to the minimum level of expectations and stop there, regardless of any capacity or ability to contribute to a higher standard.

4. Actively disengaged

Actively disengaged employees are dissatisfied with their work, role and the organisation. They do not connect with the company’s mission or goals and are unwilling to participate in the workplace culture. This disconnection from their job’s purpose can result in a struggle with their responsibilities and a lack of commitment and loyalty to the role. These types of employees can actually negatively influence the opinions of other employees, decrease productivity levels and hurt team collaboration. 

Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

1. A wider purpose

Employees who feel that the work they do is linked with and contributes to an organisation’s larger aims feel a greater sense of shared purpose and team camaraderie that ultimately fosters better engagement. Studies have shown that one-way employers can help employees connect their work to a wider purpose is through ‘town hall meetings and immersive, small-group sessions’ which provide opportunities for them to step back and actually realise the role and impact of their work in furthering the organisation’s larger aims.

Understandably so, the employees who feel the greatest connection to their role feel a sense of alignment in their personal and work-life purpose. Whilst this may not be possible for every employee, it’s a good idea to make sure that the company is able to effectively communicate its values and goals in order to attract more committed and engaged talent. 

2. Create time affluence

A common complaint of employees is the lack of time affluence they feel and the trend towards increasing working hours in recent decades has only exacerbated this issue. Employees who feel as if they cannot manage the amount of work in the time they have whilst also allowing for leisure and breaks to recharge can find it difficult to engage with what they’re doing. One way to foster a better sense of time affluence is to reward employees with time (e.g., extra time off, paid vacations) on top of monetary rewards. Workers who take time off when necessary can be more creative and productive, resulting in better overall employee engagement.

employee engagement improves overall productivity

Another method is through making sure that employers have tools in place to prevent unnecessary time drains – e.g. email inboxes can be a great source of constant distraction and stress for some employees, even during after-work hours and vacations. Choosing to have work emails stop routing 30 minutes before the end of the workday and stay that way until the next morning is one small change that can help employees make better use of their time off and return to work with more energy and enthusiasm. 

Additionally, part of time affluence is also understanding how to use the time you have to the best advantage-teaching your employees how to assign value to tasks and prioritise what’s necessary can help them manages their time better and ultimately work more effectively in fewer hours. 

3. Greater flexibility

Flexibility in the different tasks employees are able to take on allows employees to explore their different interests, build diverse skill sets and remain engaged and interested in what they’re doing. Providing employees with flexibility essentially gives them room to give different roles a shot and figure out what they’re actually interested in pursuing.

One way employers can implement flexibility in a way that enables employees to branch out, particularly at a time period when they may not be sure of what their final career goals are, is to introduce a job rotation program for graduates and/or new hires. These programs would have employees move through different roles after small periods of time and give them the freedom to choose where they felt they would perform best (given they met some pre-requisites to ensure they were able to keep up with what was required).

4. Boost employees’ sense of confidence.

Employee engagement is also tied to the confidence of workers and the support they feel they have from their workplaces. People have a tendency to avoid roles or tasks in which they lack confidence, even if they have the right qualifications or experience to give them a shot. Supporting your employees to pursue roles and opportunities that spark their interest and align with their goals is a great way of fostering an engaged workforce. Increased confidence allows for better employee engagement which in turn contributes to greater productivity, efficiency and higher performance.

 To help boost confidence, employers should try to respond to mistakes with encouragement instead of overly harsh criticism. If a problem is identified, employees should be provided with support to help resolve the issue and the chance to use the incident as a learning opportunity. This gives workers room to be more creative, explore different solutions and pursue innovation – all of which result in stronger employee engagement. 

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Employee engagement impacts several important aspects of every organisation, from operations and profitability to turnover rates and customer experiences. Having strong rates of employee engagement is hence a great asset for employers – they are invested in the organisation and care about its values, missions and goals. 

Workers who care more about their roles put more effort into producing high-quality work and better business outcomes. For workplace leaders, targeting employee engagement is not only an effective way of improving their bottom line but also helps to create a more positive work environment and boost employee loyalty.


How to choose the best investigator

How to choose the best investigator

investigator<br />

 Choosing the right investigator for a workplace investigation is an important decision. An investigator must be experienced, knowledgeable and have the necessary skills to conduct a thorough investigation while adhering to relevant laws and regulations. It is essential that organisations select an investigator who can handle sensitive information ethically and with discretion.


Do a brief assessment

Understanding the issue at hand is an important first step in any workplace investigation. A brief assessment will allow the business to collect enough data that will allow it to find a suitable individual. The company should have an idea of what it is dealing with before trying to look for a candidate. This increases the chances of finding the right person and conducting a successful investigation. A good way to do this is ask for people to come out with any information they may have on the incident in an informal way. This process is usually done when alongside the decision of whether to conduct an investigation in the first place. 


Choosing the right investigator

 The choice of who will be responsible to lead the investigation is one of the most important ones. 

Some things to consider are:

-Identifying qualifications and experience 

-Evaluating investigator skills 

-Checking experience on similar cases 

-Assessing fees


Identifying qualifications and experience

 When it comes to selecting an investigator, businesses need to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and experience. The right individual must know all applicable laws and regulations and have experience conducting similar investigations in the past. They should also have the skills required to analyse evidence effectively, interview witnesses and handle sensitive information with discretion.

 When evaluating investigator qualifications, organisations may consider their background in conducting workplace investigations and any professional certifications or accreditations they may hold. Businesses may also wish to inquire about any awards or accolades they may have achieved during their time as an investigator. Additionally, companies should make sure that the investigator is well-versed in relevant labour laws and has a deep understanding of all applicable legal requirements so that they can conduct a thorough investigation while remaining compliant.

 While knowledge of laws and regulations is important, it is equally important to find someone who understands your organisation’s policies. Being compliant is not only limited to government rules but to company procedures as well. Sometimes, employers choose an internal investigator due to their familiarity with both external and internal requirements. 


Evaluating investigator skills 

 Evaluating communication skills is an essential component of selecting the right person for a workplace investigation. Strong communication skills are necessary in order for investigators to convey information effectively, document evidence, and build trust with stakeholders. An investigator needs to be able to interact with witnesses and other parties involved in the investigation in a respectful manner while also staying focused on the task at hand. 

 In addition to having good verbal communication skills, investigators must also be adept at writing reports that are clear, concise, and accurate. Good report writing is important as it serves as a basis of evidence that can be referred to during litigation if needed. Furthermore, good report writing provides an investigator’s findings and recommendations in an organised and detailed way so that the business can make informed decisions based on the results of the investigation. 

 Investigators must also have the ability to handle sensitive information professionally and confidentially. As such, organisations should ensure that their investigator has experience dealing with confidential data such as employee records or other sensitive materials during past investigations. Companies might also enquire about any protocols or measures taken by the investigator when handling sensitive information to ensure that all applicable privacy laws are adhered to throughout the process.

 It is also crucial for organisations to verify if their investigator has any certificates related to data protection or cyber security that demonstrate their expertise in this area, and that they use systems that can securely manage confidential information. These measures help safeguard confidential information from being exposed or used maliciously during an investigation. Many investigators use Polonious for handling sensitive data and information as we are ISO27001 certified and comply with strict international standards.


Checking experience on similar cases 

 Finding an investigator with a proven track record in similar cases is essential for organisations looking to resolve workplace issues quickly and effectively. Companies should ask the potential candidates about their experience level and any past cases they may have taken on that are similar to the business’s current situation. This will provide insight into the individual’s ability to handle similar situations, as well as their familiarity with applicable laws, regulations, and protocols. Additionally, it is important for organisations to assess the investigator’s success rate in prior cases; this will help inform their decision of whether or not to hire them. 

 Companies might also request references from previous employers to gain better insight into their work ethic and capabilities. These references can give valuable information regarding the investigator’s professionalism, communication skills, and overall effectiveness at resolving issues. Employers need to also make sure to ask if the investigator has successfully handled similar types of investigations before and what strategies they used in order to achieve successful outcomes. Inquiring about how long it took for them to complete similar investigations is another way organisations can get an idea of what kind of timeline they should expect when working with a particular investigator. 

 Another thing to consider is reviewing any letters of commendation or testimonials given by clients who have worked with them before as these can provide further insight into how effective an investigator may be in resolving an issue. Past cases can also highlight an individual’s knowledge of the industry as well as indicate how quickly they adapt to new environments. By undertaking proper due diligence when hiring an investigator for a workplace investigation, companies can rest assured knowing that they have chosen an individual with a proven track record who has what it takes to bring resolution quickly while ensuring fairness and impartiality throughout the process.


Assessing fees

 When examining fees, costs and other expenses associated with the investigation process, businesses may consider several factors to ensure that the investigator is the right fit for their situation. Firstly, employers should look at the investigator’s experience level and past cases they may have handled to get an idea of what type of fee they may charge. It is important to note that more experienced individuals will likely charge higher fees than those who are just starting out in the field. However, the quality of the process is more likely to be higher as well as they are fairly experienced. 

 Any costs associated with conducting a thorough investigation such as travel expenses, report writing fees and additional research costs need to be considered. The investigator’s hourly rate can also be impacted by the complexity of the case and any other special requirements needed during the investigation process. Hence, it is essential for organisations to assess their own needs when it comes to fees and make sure that they are comfortable with any additional costs incurred throughout the process. 

 Businesses should also factor in any legal or administrative fees incurred as a result of hiring an investigator. While some investigators offer these extra services on a pro bono or reduced cost basis, organisations must still consider any extra paperwork or procedures required during the investigation process such as filing documents or obtaining witness testimonies. 

 To ensure accuracy and reliability throughout the entire investigation process, companies may need to hire outside experts such as labour lawyers or independent auditors who can assist with providing legal advice or evaluating evidence collected by an investigator. This could potentially increase overall investigative costs so it is important for organisations to plan accordingly when budgeting for such services.  

 If an investigator is found to be negligent in their duties or fails to successfully complete a workplace investigation, then this could lead to financial losses for an organisation due to wasted time/resources and potential legal issues arising from non-compliance with applicable laws/regulations.  Businesses should check if the candidate has insurance that covers such costs to minimise the risk of potential financial damage. 


Few things to remember

 Understanding the importance of workplace investigations is essential for any organisation. A workplace investigation provides an opportunity to identify and address issues in a fair, impartial, and confidential manner. It can help protect an entity from legal liabilities or reputational damage that could arise from allegations of misconduct or unfair treatment in the workplace. Furthermore, it allows organisations to respond quickly and effectively to complaints while upholding their standards of professionalism and integrity. By having a clear understanding of the importance of workplace investigations, organisations can ensure that they are adequately prepared when faced with potential allegations or issues.

 Polonious assists various businesses with conducting a fair and confidential investigation. Our system follows high-quality standards to provide the best experience for both the investigator and the company. Automatic case updates, flexible workflows and easy accessibility are just a few of the benefits that Polonious offers. If you want to hear more, request a demo!

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What counts as workplace misconduct and how harmful is it?

What counts as workplace misconduct and how harmful is it?

workplace misconduct

 Workplace misconduct affects many employees and companies in a variety of ways. It can have a negative effect on workplace morale and productivity, leading to decreases in efficiency, increased workplace conflict, and higher rates of stress-related illness among employees. In terms of financial losses, workplace misconduct can result in higher turnover costs and decreased workplace engagement – leading to lower overall profits. Companies may also face legal repercussions if workplace misconduct is not handled properly, as employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace environment for their employees. The effects of workplace misconduct are far-reaching, with the impact being felt by both employees and employers alike. 

 For instance, it can lead to poor customer service due to low morale or decreased customer satisfaction due to a lack of trust in an employer’s ability to protect their employee’s rights. Additionally, workplace misconduct can damage a company’s reputation if it is not addressed quickly and appropriately – resulting in further financial losses for the business. 


What counts as workplace misconduct?

 Workplace misconduct is any type of behaviour that goes against workplace policies, workplace laws and regulations, or accepted workplace norms. This can include anything from sexual or physical harassment, workplace bullying, discrimination, fraud and corruption, to workplace violence or intimidation. It is an umbrella term for a range of behaviours that can create an unsafe working environment for employees.


Signs to look out for when spotting workplace misconduct

 Workplace misconduct can take many forms and it is essential that both employees and managers are familiar with them. Some red flags include:

-Unprofessional behaviour

-Unexplained absences from work

-Bullying and harassment of colleagues

-Refusal to follow workplace rules and regulations

-Inappropriate use of company resources


Unprofessional behaviour 

 Unprofessional behaviour such as shouting, swearing or using aggressive language in the workplace is a form of workplace misconduct that can lead to serious consequences if left unchecked. Not only does it make for a hostile work environment, but it can also have a negative impact on workplace morale and productivity. It is important for employers to recognise when employees are exhibiting this type of behaviour so that they can address it quickly and appropriately before any further damage occurs. In order to do this, employers should be aware of the signs of unprofessional behaviour and how best to deal with them in order to maintain a safe and friendly workplace.


Unexplained absences from work

 Unexplained absences from work or frequent lateness is a form of workplace misconduct that can damage company goals and objectives. These behaviours not only affect employee performance, but they could also lead to disciplinary action being taken against the employee in question. It is important for employers to be aware of these signs so that they can take appropriate steps to address any issues before further damage occurs.

 To do this, employers should require staff to provide a reason for being absent or away. Additionally, employers should investigate any unexplained absences promptly to determine the cause and take corrective action if necessary. By doing this, companies can help ensure their workplace remains fair and conducive for all employees. Please note, though, that unexplained absences may be a sign of other misconduct – e.g. an employee may be trying to avoid being bullied at work.


Bullying and harassment of colleagues

 Bullying and harassment of colleagues, including verbal abuse and intimidation, is one of the most serious forms of workplace misconduct that can have a devastating impact on both employees and employers. Not only does it create an uncomfortable workplace atmosphere, but it can also lead to employee stress, anxiety, depression and even physical illness. Additionally, workplace bullying can lead to lower-quality teamwork and less cooperation between staff,

 It is crucial for employers to be aware of the signs of workplace bullying so that they can prepare a response plan created solely for addressing that specific issue. Some of the common signs of workplace bullying include derogatory language or name-calling; excluding someone from workplace activities or conversations; spreading malicious rumours or gossip; giving someone the “silent treatment” and displaying aggressive body language.


Refusal to follow workplace rules and regulations

 Refusal to follow workplace rules and regulations can be a serious problem in the workplace, with potentially severe consequences. Employees who fail to comply with workplace policies and procedures can endanger their fellow workers, disrupt workplace operations, and put the company at risk of lawsuits and fines. Refusal to follow workplace rules is often a symptom of deeper workplace problems such as lack of respect for authority or lack of understanding of workplace safety protocols. In addition, it can also be an indication that an employee is feeling overwhelmed or stressed due to increased workloads or inadequate support from management. 

 Employers should take immediate action when they observe an employee refusing to follow workplace rules and regulations. Noncompliance should not be tolerated so finding ways to tackle it quickly is of great importance. Employers should also ensure that their employees are aware of all applicable workplace policies and procedures through regular staff meetings, written communication, or other means. It is best in the first instance, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, to treat non-compliance as a training issue rather than serious misconduct – however, if it continues to occur then it becomes clear that there is an attitude issue that makes it hard to trust the employee.


Inappropriate use of company resources

 The workplace is an environment where employees are expected to act in a professional and ethical manner. Unfortunately, some employees take advantage of their workplace and use company resources for personal gain. This behaviour can also go as far as asset misappropriation and it can have a major influence in the overall success of the business as the resources are misused. In order to protect the workplace from such unethical practices, employers should be aware of what constitutes inappropriate use of company resources so they can identify any potential issues or misconduct early on.

workplace misconduct

How to address workplace misconduct

As with any sensitive matter, employers need to be prepared to handle difficult situations carefully. They should:

-Investigate any complaints promptly 

-Provide resources for employees

-Establish clear workplace policies to address workplace misconduct

-Provide effective training


Investigate any complaints promptly 

 Investigating workplace misconduct complaints promptly is essential for a safe and productive workplace. Employers should have a procedure in place to ensure that any workplace misconduct accusations are taken seriously and responded to immediately. They should ensure that all staff understand the process and have access to the necessary support and resources throughout the investigation. It is crucial for employers to take all reports of misconduct seriously and investigate them in a timely manner, not only so they can take corrective action, but also to protect their employees from further harm or retaliatory behaviour.

 When investigating workplace misconduct, employers should aim to collect as much evidence as possible, including witnesses’ statements, emails, or other documents which can help verify a complaint. After gathering all relevant information, employers should analyse it carefully to reach an accurate conclusion about whether workplace misconduct has occurred. With this evidence collected, employers should be able to properly assess what disciplinary measures may be necessary and consider if any steps need to be taken to prevent future incidents from occurring. Employers must also ensure that investigations are conducted fairly and objectively, with due process given to both parties involved, ensuring any action taken respects the rights of all employees involved in the process.


Provide resources for employees

 Providing resources for employees is an important step in addressing workplace misconduct. By offering counselling services and employee assistance programs, employers can ensure that their staff have access to the necessary support they need when dealing with workplace disputes or any other workplace issues. These resources can help create a safe and productive workplace environment by giving employees an outlet to discuss their concerns and provide them with guidance on how to handle any potential conflicts that may arise. Not only do these services offer support, but they also give employees the opportunity to learn new skills which will help them better navigate workplace dynamics in the future.


Establish clear workplace policies to address workplace misconduct

 Employers must establish clear workplace policies and procedures and check that all staff are aware of applicable workplace rules and regulations, so they know what behaviours are acceptable and what is considered a breach of policy. Employers should also regularly review existing workplace policies to make sure they remain updated with any changes that may have occurred. When creating workplace policies, employers should consider the different levels of authority among employees and clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each individual within the company. This will help prevent any potential conflicts or misunderstandings between workers.


Provide effective training

 In addition to establishing clear workplace policies, employers should also provide staff with training sessions on workplace conduct, so they can better understand their rights and obligations in the workplace. These sessions should educate employees on topics such as sexual harassment, discrimination, appropriate behaviour in the workplace, whistleblowing procedures and other relevant topics which could be pertinent for dealing with workplace misconduct. 

 By providing employees with this information, it will reduce the chances of incidents occurring in the first place and increase their knowledge if something does happen. It is important for these sessions to give employees the opportunity to work through hypothetical scenarios and enhance their reasoning skills, and not just rote learn policies and procedures, to give them the tools to navigate complex situations effectively.

Please remember

 Employers must take proactive steps to identify and address workplace misconduct as soon as possible. A zero-tolerance policy should be adopted to ensure clear boundaries and expectations are established among employees so they know what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Employers should also create a safe reporting system in which employees feel comfortable coming forward with their concerns. Employers should also offer appropriate training programs on workplace misconduct awareness for all staff members so everyone understands what constitutes unacceptable behaviour in the workplace.

 Polonious has helped numerous clients deal with workplace misconduct.investigations and assures them that all information will be stored securely. As we are ISO 27001 and ISO 9001, we ensure that we provide a high-quality system that upholds confidentiality for as long as it is needed. If you want to learn more, reach out! We are happy to show you how we can help you achieve a faster and more efficient investigation.

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Types of risk mitigation strategies

Types of risk mitigation strategies

risk mitigation

 Risk mitigation is a risk management strategy that seeks to reduce or eliminate risk. It is an important part of risk management, which aims to identify and assess risks in order to create strategies for managing them. Risk mitigation focuses on reducing the probability and/or impact of identified risks, as well as improving organisational resilience against risk events. By implementing effective risk mitigation strategies, organisations can protect themselves from unexpected losses and gain a competitive advantage in uncertain times.


Benefits of risk mitigation 

 Risk mitigation strategies can provide numerous benefits to organisations. By reducing risk, organisations save time and money as they reduce the risk of unexpected losses. Risk mitigation strategies also increase organisational resilience, allowing organisations to better withstand risk events and maintain their operations, even in the face of challenging economic conditions or disruption. They can also improve an organisation’s risk profile by helping them identify and manage risks proactively. This can be beneficial for organisations that are seeking financing or investment, as it allows them to demonstrate their risk management capabilities. 

 Risk mitigation can help organisations improve their bottom line by addressing issues before they become costly problems. By assessing potential risks early on, they can help prevent the worst-case scenarios from occurring by allowing organisations to address these risks before they affect the business. In addition, risk mitigation strategies can also help protect an organisation’s reputation by ensuring that risks are addressed and they do not have a chance to affect their brand negatively. Effective risk management can improve customer confidence and satisfaction by ensuring that customers receive reliable services and products with minimal risk of failure or disruption.


Risk mitigation strategies

 Risk mitigation strategies are developed once a risk has been identified. Once the scope and type of risk are understood by the business, the management can decide which strategy to use to address it. The five main ones are:

-Risk avoidance

-Risk reduction

-Risk transfer

-Risk acceptance   

-Risk monitoring


Risk avoidance

 Risk avoidance involves identifying risks early on, assessing their severity and taking steps to avoid them so they do not cause severe damage. Organisations can guard themselves from financial loss by avoiding risky activities or investments.

 Avoidance is the most effective but also most extreme form of risk mitigation. An organisation may decide that an entire operation, function, market, process, etc does not provide enough benefit to be worth the risk – even when controlled – and may cease/exit it entirely, or decide not to start/enter it. Taken to its extreme, this could even include deciding to wind up a company. This completely negates any ongoing risk, but obviously the cost of doing so is very high as well


Risk reduction

 While reducing the risk can be beneficial, sometimes it cannot be completely eliminated. Some companies choose to go ahead to benefit from the opportunities that the risks present while developing strategies on the way on how to minimise them and controls them. 

Risk reduction strategies involve:

  • Identifying potential risks early 
  • Assessing their severity.
  • Taking steps to reduce or eliminate them

 Risk reduction can provide organisations with many advantages when it comes to managing risk effectively. By reducing the chances of experiencing a loss due to unforeseen risks such as accidents, organisations can save money as the chances of unnecessary costs decrease.  The likelihood of risk can decrease in certain scenarios depending on the steps the businesses take. For example, conducting background checks on employees to rule out the possibility of conflict of interest or data leaks. While companies have control over that, they cannot control natural disasters and hence it is harder to reduce that threat.  


Risk transfer

 Risk transfer is a risk mitigation strategy that focuses on shifting risk from one party to another. This risk management approach involves transferring the risk associated with a loss, accident, or liability from the original risk holder (the “insured”) to a third-party insurance provider in exchange for a fee. Risk transfer strategies are often used as part of an overall risk mitigation plan in order to reduce the chances of experiencing unexpected losses due to unpredictable threats. 

 Risk transfer can be beneficial for organisations and individuals who are seeking financial protection against risks. By transferring risk away from them and onto an insurer, they can lower their expenses from events such as natural disasters or accidents. By transferring risk away from them, insured parties may also benefit financially if their premiums are lower than what they would have paid out had they retained the risk themselves. 

 Insurers benefit from providing coverage through risk transfers because it allows them to diversify their portfolio and spread out their own risks across multiple policyholders instead of taking on all of the risks at once. By spreading out their exposures over multiple policies and policyholders, insurers reduce their exposure while still collecting premium payments, allowing them to operate profitably. 


Risk acceptance   

 Risk acceptance is a strategy that involves accepting some risk in order to gain a reward or benefit. It is often used when the cost of accepting the risk is lower than the cost of developing strategies to mitigate the risk. It can be beneficial for organisations looking to capitalise on opportunities but are not able to avoid or reduce threats. Risk acceptance requires careful consideration as there are both advantages and disadvantages associated with this approach.

 It is almost impossible and definitely very expensive to eliminate all risks. For low-rating threats or those that are more predictable and manageable, risk acceptance could be the right choice. If the risk is within our risk appetite then we will accept the risk without treatment, as the resources we would use to treat it are more effectively used elsewhere.

 Risk acceptance has several benefits that make it an attractive option for risk mitigation strategies. By accepting certain risks, organisations can take advantage of potential rewards or opportunities that might otherwise be missed due to fear of failure or lack of resources necessary for risk prevention measures. Risk acceptance allows organisations to focus their efforts on more pressing matters such as developing new products or services instead of spending time and money on managing risks that may never materialise into a real threat. It can also offer financial savings by avoiding unnecessary investments in insurance which would have been required if preventive measures were taken instead.  

 On the other hand, there are also some drawbacks associated with risk acceptance strategies including potential losses from unanticipated events as fewer preventive measures are being taken. There is also a difficulty in accurately assessing all possible risk factors. Risk acceptance can also lead to moral and ethical dilemmas if organisations are willing to accept certain levels of risk just for the sake of making a profit. What type of risk are they willing to accept? How does it affect employees? 

 If it would cost $2 million to fix an OH&S risk that could result in the death of an employee, but the compensation in the event of a death would be $1 million – it would make sense financially to accept the risk, but this is not sufficient justification when employee health and lives are at risk. This type of risk management strategy should therefore be used with caution and only after careful consideration of all risks and rewards associated with it.

risk mitigation

Risk monitoring 

 Risk monitoring involves regularly tracking and assessing risk factors both inside and outside an organisation in order to identify any potential threats that may arise unexpectedly. Through this approach, organisations can stay up-to-date on any changes in the environment or industry that might affect their operations as well as any new regulations or laws that may be applicable. Risk monitoring allows organisations to respond quickly in the event of a crisis by developing appropriate plans and strategies in advance so they are prepared for unanticipated circumstances should they appear. 

 Risk monitoring is not a treatment or mitigation strategy per se, but helps to ensure that our awareness of risks and the effectiveness of their treatment strategies remains up to date. For example, a risk we had accepted may become unacceptable, and we now need to decide whether to treat or avoid.


How to implement risk mitigation effectively 

 Best practices for implementing risk avoidance strategies include having clear and concise internal policies regarding risk management and communication – especially regarding the level of risk that the organisation is and isn’t willing to tolerate, establishing an effective risk assessment process, developing and maintaining a formal risk register, ensuring appropriate training for staff involved in the risk management process, and monitoring progress against risk goals. 

 Best practices for risk mitigation involve developing risk management plans which address all risk levels. These plans should be based on a thorough risk assessment and risk analysis to identify, assess, and prioritise risk factors that could impact an organisation’s operations. Risk mitigation strategies should be tailored to the specific risk profile of the business. 

 When implementing risk mitigation strategies, it is important to consider both internal and external risks. Internal risks are those that are under the control of the company, such as financial or operational processes and procedures. External risks are those from outside sources such as the economy or legal environment. Risk mitigation strategies should also take into account any changes in regulations or laws which could impact an organisation’s operations. 

 When devising risk mitigation strategies, organisations should develop both short-term and long-term strategies. Short-term measures can be implemented quickly to address immediate threats while long-term strategies provide protection over a more extended period of time. It is also important to ensure that risk mitigation efforts are applied consistently across all departments within an organisation and are monitored regularly for effectiveness. A company should also ensure that its risk management strategy complies with applicable laws and regulations in order to limit liabilities. 

 Organisations should also consider using a variety of techniques when implementing risk management strategies, such as insurance coverage, subcontracting risks, purchasing hedging contracts, diversification of investments, and process improvement initiatives among others. In addition, organisations should consider developing a detailed incident response plan in case of any unexpected events that may occur after the implementation of the internal controls, including contingency plans for handling possible losses or disruption caused by events such as workplace accidents or cybercrime. Organisations should include provisions in their risk management strategy that include regular review of processes as well as periodic training sessions for staff on how to best utilise risk mitigation techniques.


Challenges of risk mitigation 

 When implementing risk mitigation strategies, there are various challenges that organisations must be aware of. One key challenge is the difficulty in identifying all possible risks due to the ever-changing nature of business environments and unpredictable events that could occur. Organisations must also consider external risk factors such as economic conditions or government changes which can significantly increase their risk exposure levels. 

 Another challenge associated with risk mitigation is the cost of implementing preventive measures, which can be more expensive than other risk management approaches depending on the situation. Organisations may encounter ethical and moral issues when deciding between accepting certain levels of risk to make a profit versus taking preventive measures against potential losses. Businesses need to ensure they do not jeopardise the health and wellbeing of their employees as they strive to maximise returns while minimising risks. Risk mitigation requires careful consideration and should only be implemented after careful planning and analysis.


Keep in mind

 Risks require a quick response to ensure they are taken care of appropriately. This means that businesses need to have a reliable risk management system in place that allows them to handle threats efficiently. Polonious offers our customers built-in calculations for risk ratings and automated reminders for reassessment. Through our system, risk assessments can be filled out online and audit reports can be exported easily which saves both time and money. At Polonious we help our customers spend less time on paperwork so they can focus on continuous improvement while handling risks effectively. Do you want to learn more? Request a demo!

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6 Management Challenges You Should Watch Out For

6 Management Challenges You Should Watch Out For

The role of managers in the workplace is indisputably important – they enable efficient operations, lead teams to achieve organisational goals and help foster a strong employee culture. However, the role is accompanied by a number of management challenges that are often overlooked due to the rarely sympathetic depiction of the ‘boss’ figure in media. These obstacles are particularly difficult to navigate for individuals who have been handed the responsibility of leading a team due to their competence in an unrelated field and haven’t actually partaken in any formal management-related training. 

Management challenges can be particularly difficult for leaders who are not trained

Managers often face management challenges tied to an employee’s or team’s productivity, communication and collaboration. Knowing how to recognise these challenges and address them helps grow a manager’s skillset, confidence and capacity for effective leadership.

Most common challenges in the workplace

1.  Addressing performance issues

Issues tied to performance management are a common stumbling block for many managers. Ensuring that your team consistently performs to organisational expectations and market standards is vital for resource efficiency, customer loyalty and long-term business success. However, if you notice that a team or employee is underperforming, it’s important not to make premature assumptions- instead, look towards the root cause of the issue and approach the situation with care.  

As a manager, whilst you have to make sure that the team’s results are of a certain calibre, you also have to maintain a relationship of mutual respect and trust. Being hasty, overly harsh or failing to understand the issue in its entirety will not only prevent you from getting the results you want but risk damaging your professional relationships. 

To prevent this, make sure that all performance expectations are fleshed out and explained well. When employees have a clear understanding of the team’s goals and targets, it becomes a lot easier to keep sight of them as the project evolves and progresses. Also, make sure to regularly reach out to your employees one-on-one so you are able to better understand their individual challenges, offer personalised feedback and build a stronger relationship. 

2. Strong team communication

Managers not only need to have strong communication skills personally but be able to foster them within their team. The position of authority can create an understandable sense of distance between an employee and their manager – bridging this gap is important when it comes to ensuring that overall collaboration is effective and that the team is resilient in the face of unexpected hurdles. 

Managers who aren’t able to listen well to the team or foster an efficient flow of information can cause misunderstandings between the team about tasks, creating a stressful work environment – in fact, a ‘lack of interdepartmental communications’ was found to be one of the biggest causes of stress for employees in 2020. As time progresses, this can stunt the progress towards team goals, damage the relationship between employees and incur unnecessary business losses. 

3. Maintaining calm in periods of uncertainty 

Most business face periods of time when the future of the organisation can seem uncertain. In some scenarios, the business may have to make tough decisions in order to ensure its long-term survival and this may include budget cuts, redundancies and lay-offs. Such turbulent periods can impact the ability of employees to go about their daily roles as normal and foster confusion, fear and frustration. 

Managers may not have all the answers to employee concerns, but they must still work towards maintaining an environment where business operations can continue as needed. To do so, it is best to remain as open as possible with employees by answering queries as best you can and passing on all information that you are authorised to do so. Clear communication helps make sure that employees retain a certain level of trust and aren’t kept in the dark about what to expect.

4.  Conflict management 

Conflict management is a near-inevitable aspect of a manager’s role and understanding how to navigate disputes effectively is vital towards making sure your team is resilient and strong in the face of challenges. To prevent conflicts from turning into potentially bigger concerns, managers should ensure that they clearly address them and give people an opportunity to speak about their perspectives.

When doing so, being sure to avoid any bias no matter what your individual relationship is like with each involved party is crucial – if you display unfair or blatant favouritism, your employees will not trust you with sharing potential conflicts in the future and any sense of team comradery will be jeopardised. Managers should also take into consideration the nature of the issue at hand – is it work-related or personal? Work-related disputes are not inherently bad and can actually foster creativity and stronger solutions- however, all personal conflicts should be addressed immediately as they can be increasingly damaging the longer they are left to fester. 

5. Preventing burnout 

In a recent survey by Gallup, 67% of employees reported experiencing symptoms of burnout – for managers, this risk is even greater due to the additional responsibilities they handle. Making sure that you strike the right balance between meeting work obligations and your mental and physical health is crucial towards long-term, overall well-being.

An employee culture that doesn’t stress the importance of balance can not only set unrealistic expectations for workplace productivity but also undermine the health of employees. Innovation and creativity cannot thrive in environments where employees are struggling with excessive workloads. Managers must actively make sure that they not only give themselves time to refuel but also encourage their employees to do the same.

6. Recruitment decisions

Management roles also involve making important hiring decisions that have the power to both elevate a team or cause it to fall apart.  Managers have to make sure they recruit the right people for each role and part of this is recognising that candidates with the “right” educational background and experience will not necessarily be the best fit. A strong selection process will enable management to learn as much relevant information about the candidate before any final recruitment decisions are made. To help managers make sure they make good hiring choices, it’s helpful to have a team of people involved in the process rather than one or two parties so that any potential bias is prevented.

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Managers supervise aspects of the company that most employees rarely engage with and their role is accompanied by many unique challenges. Understanding what these are is necessary for every manager to be able to examine the issues in the context of their own workplaces and steadily improve the company’s systems and processes to better handle them.

Polonious offers an investigation management tool that can help managers regulate their most difficult management situation – workplace conflict – with its support, employers and managers will be better equipped to handle these challenges successfully.


The strong relationship between risk appetite and risk tolerance

The strong relationship between risk appetite and risk tolerance

risk appetite<br />

 Risk appetite and risk tolerance are two important aspects of risk management that organisations need to understand. Differentiating the two can allow more accurate risk predictions and better planning. By understanding these two concepts and their relationship with each other, businesses can develop an effective risk management strategy that will help them minimise potential losses and maximise returns. 


Types of risks that affect risk appetite and risk tolerance

 Risk tolerance and risk appetite are many times affected by the severity of the risk the company is facing. Market risks pose one of the most significant threats to businesses as external factors beyond their control may lead to sudden changes in profits or cash flow. In order for companies to effectively manage this type of risk, they need a thorough understanding of the industry landscape and current market trends so they can anticipate potential shifts in demand for their products and services before it happens. Additionally, organisations should have contingency plans in place if there are major disruptions caused by geopolitical events or natural disasters which could result in long-term negative impacts on their bottom line. 

 Operational risk represents another key area of risk management, as organisations must be aware of the potential losses that can arise due to ineffective operations and processes. Poor risk management practices such as inadequate training or insufficient safety measures can lead to increased risk that could result in costly accidents or financial losses. To minimise the chances of these risks occurring, companies should regularly review their risk profiles and ensure they are taking all necessary steps to protect their business from potential dangers. 

 Organisations need a comprehensive risk appetite statement in order to effectively manage risk. A risk appetite statement defines an organisation’s level of risk tolerance and outlines specific limits for different types of risks such as market risk, operational risk, and compliance risk. By clearly defining acceptable risk levels within the organisation, businesses can develop a strategy for risk management that will help them achieve their desired goals while minimising the risk of harm to the business or its stakeholders.


What is risk appetite?

 Risk appetite is a term used to describe the risk that an organisation or individual is willing to take on and retain . It reflects the risk tolerance of the decision-maker and should be in line with their risk objectives. Risk appetite can refer to both financial and non-financial risks, such as operational, legal, compliance and reputational risks. The risk appetite of an organisation will vary depending on its size, industry sector and risk profile. By assessing their risk appetites, organisations can ensure they are taking appropriate levels of risk while still achieving their goals. Understanding risk appetite also helps organisations identify potential areas where they may need additional resources or controls in order to manage those risks effectively.


What is risk tolerance?

 Risk tolerance is the risk an individual or organisation can accept and manage in order to achieve a desired outcome. It is closely related to risk appetite, but it goes further than risk appetite by assessing how much risk can be absorbed before damaging effects are felt. Risk tolerance takes into account not just the potential reward of taking on risk, but also the potential losses that could occur if things do not go as planned.

 For example, a person might have a high-risk appetite and be willing to make investments with potentially high returns but also a risk of high losses; however, if their risk tolerance is low they may decide against making those same investments because their ability to absorb any losses is not there at the moment. Risk tolerance helps organisations and individuals make informed decisions about which risks are worth taking and which should be avoided.

risk appetite

The Relationship between Risk Appetite and Risk Tolerance

 The relationship between risk appetite and risk tolerance is critical for any business’s success. The risk appetite should be set at a level where the potential rewards outweigh the risks taken on by the organisation, while still being within acceptable levels of risk tolerance. If an organisation takes on too much or too little risk compared to its level of risk tolerance then it could lead to financial losses or missed opportunities respectively. It is important for organisations to strike a balance between their desired level of reward and acceptable levels of loss in order for them to reap maximum benefits from taking calculated risks without putting themselves in financial danger. 

 When setting a company’s risk appetite and determining its suitable level of tolerable loss, there are certain factors which must be taken into consideration such as the size and scale of the risk, the risk environment and potential costs/benefits associated with it. Additionally, risk management strategies need to be regularly reviewed and updated based on current risk tolerance levels and changing business priorities.


Benefits of having an appropriate level of Risk Appetite & Tolerance

 The benefits of having an appropriate level of risk appetite and risk tolerance are numerous. Firstly, it warns businesses to be aware of the risk they are taking, giving them a better chance of mitigating risks and preventing financial losses. This is especially true when it comes to managing investments and maintaining their liquidity. Having an appropriate risk appetite also helps organisations plan for the future, as it allows them to set realistic goals and objectives. An organisation with well-defined risk appetite and risk tolerance can ensure that its risk management is prepared to deal with different kinds of situations. 

 Another advantage of having an appropriate risk appetite and risk tolerance is that it encourages innovation while still balancing acceptable levels of threat. By creating an environment where people feel safe to take risks, companies can stimulate creativity and drive innovation. This could lead to new products or services that can increase revenues or create competitive advantages over other firms in the same industry. A healthy balance between risk appetite and risk tolerance helps organisations stay ahead of the competition by being proactive rather than reactive when facing risks in the marketplace.

 Having a suitable level of both risk appetite and risk tolerance promotes organisational resilience by ensuring all necessary measures have been taken to protect against potential threats like unforeseen events or market changes. Organisations that understand their risk profile can put in place comprehensive policies and systems aimed at protecting their assets, reputation, resources and personnel from any potential risks associated with their activities. 


Challenges of risk appetite and risk tolerance

 One of the main challenges associated with risk appetite and risk tolerance is accurately determining the optimal risk level. It can be difficult to identify the right balance between risk and reward and risk levels must be regularly reviewed to ensure they remain appropriate for the circumstances. This can be a tedious process as there are so many variables that must be taken into account such as the current economic climate, market trends, and other external factors. It is crucial that risk levels are set according to an organisation’s abilities and resources as taking on too much risk can lead to major negative incidents.

 Another challenge facing organisations when developing risk appetite and risk tolerance is effective communication. Companies need to clearly communicate their risk profile to their employees in order for them all to understand the necessary steps needed to meet their goals. Without proper communication, employees may take risks that are too great or too little compared to what has been set out in the risk management strategy. 

 The third challenge associated with risk appetite and risk tolerance is staying updated with changes in regulations and industry standards. Compliance with legal regulations is essential for any organisation operating in a regulated sector such as finance or healthcare, but it can also become a major challenge when dealing with changing laws. Organisations need to ensure that their risk management strategies remain compliant in order for them to get maximum benefits from taking calculated risks without putting themselves in a difficult situation. Additionally, organisations must stay up-to-date with industry standards and best practices so they can remain competitive within their sector without exposing themselves to too much risk. 

 Managing risk appetite is an ongoing process (just like all parts of risk management), requiring regular review and adaptation according to changing circumstances. Even if a company has found the right balance between its desired level of reward and acceptable levels of loss during one period, it does not mean that this balance will be suitable during another period due to external factors or internal changes within the organisation itself. This means that businesses need to continuously monitor their risk profiles and make adjustments accordingly so they remain consistent over time while still achieving optimal results from taking calculated risks.


Keep in mind

 Managing risks requires not only an accurate risk assessment but also an efficient system that allows managers as well as the risk management team to understand the threats they are facing. Polonious helps our clients rate their risks according to their severity and colour code them so they can create a more realistic picture of the situation at hand. All information is entered online to reduce the possibility of mistakes or errors when manually recording data. If you want to know more about how our clients use Polonious in their risk management, request a demo!

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