Being a small business owner comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only are you the keeper of several paychecks, but you’re also expected to keep your employees safe while they’re on the clock. While you’d hope that everything goes as planned at all times, accidents and issues do happen. Luckily, there are some things you can do to protect your staff while also keeping the interests and safety of your business at heart.
Just check out these five steps.
1. Implement strong training programs
Whether you run a financial firm, a construction company, or something in between, your first line of defense against accidents and security breaches is proper training. The onboarding process is absolutely essential for several reasons:
- It immediately sets company expectations
- It demonstrates proper usage of equipment
- It shows employees what to do when something goes wrong
Establishing this knowledge from the get-go is key to preventing accidents, miscommunications, and other bigger issues later on down the road. Unfortunately, many companies fail to recognize the importance of this crucial step, because they think it’s too time-consuming, campy, or they assume their new hires will already know what to do. But if you ask any working person if they’ve ever made a mistake at work because they didn’t know how to do something, they probably have a story about a lack of proper training.
Anytime you hire a new team member, be sure to provide them with a mix of in-person training as well as a manual that they can keep on-hand. Additionally, reiterate who their point of contact is for training and other questions that may arise during their employment. This way, all of your employees will have the confidence and the know-how to get the job done.
2. Create defined worker’s comp procedures
Even with your best training efforts, accidents can occur, so it’s in your best interest to establish detailed procedures for your business and your employees in the event that something goes wrong. First, you’ll want to be sure that your business is armed with the necessary features to stay safe:
● Safety guidelines and materials posted
● Workers compensation insurance
● Workers compensation PBM
● Legal representation
On top of these must-haves, you should also include notes on filing for workers comp as well as how the law regulates these types of claims. Having this baseline understanding will help minimize any confusion or conflict that may come up if an accident should occur.
3. Fortify your (human) resources
Having a human resources team is one of the keys to running a safe, compliant, and healthy workplace. Not only can an HR team help you in the hiring and training process, but they can also mediate when issues come up between employees and managers or among employees. Plus, a stellar HR professional should be able to help you ensure that your business is abiding by employment laws, saving you from the potential for legal troubles later on.
There are several options you can choose from when hiring an HR team:
- You can hire in-house
- Hire part-time
- Hire a remote HR team
These are all great possibilities; the most important part is finding someone that is professional and fits into your company culture. And most importantly, you should make sure that they are accessible to everyone on staff. This will make everyone feel more safe, heard, and comfortable in the work environment!
4. Install security systems
Crime is another potential danger all small businesses are vulnerable to. While it’s nearly impossible to anticipate it, there are things you can do to prevent your business from being targeted and processes you can implement to help you handle the aftermath.
Installing a business security system serves three main purposes:
- Signaling to criminals that your business is protected
- Catching footage to aid you in the reporting and legal procedures that follow
- Demonstrating to your staff that you value their safety
5. Be transparent and communicative
Most conflicts happen when there’s been some sort of miscommunication among team members. As a business owner, it’s your job to do everything in your power to stop this by being transparent and communicative with your staff. Whether it’s in reference to training procedures, company changes, or safety precautions, it’s best to be upfront and honest.
How does your business make staff safety your top priority? Share your tips with us in the comment section!