Do you consider it a chore to wash your hands after using the toilet?
What about that morning shower? Do you begrudge the time lost as you tunelessley hum “Tainted Love” amidst the suds?
Is it because you inhabit a culture where these everyday necessities of personal hygiene are woven into the fabric of our behaviour?
Is it because we’re mindful of the consequences of neglecting them? We’ll smell bad, we’ll look bad and we’ll create optimal breeding conditions for all kinds of nasty bacteria with whom we’d much rather not associate?
Is it a little bit of both?
Whatever the reason, there’s no excuse for not extending this mentality to your business endeavours. We don’t bemoan having to keep our various bits clean and fragrant, we just do it.
We’ve already explained why an enterprise of any sort and size needs to adopt and embrace a culture of being compliant rather than just “doing compliance”, but just like that bloke on the train who scrolls, snickering, through his Twitter feed oblivious to his various pungent bodily aromas, sometimes even the most well kept enterprises can find themselves falling into poor hygiene when it comes to risk management.
Consider these handy hints a kind word and a gently proffered bag of wet wipes…
Does your workforce have the equipment to do their job properly and efficiently? Do they know how to use it? Are they aware of any health and safety risks the equipment may present? If your equipment is not up-to-date, well maintained and being used by people who don’t understand it then that could be a big brown stain on your reputation!
Is sensitive data (say, of clients/customers staff), being handled securely and appropriately by people who have a legitimate and appropriate reason for doing so? If not then you could have a potentially litigious smear of egg across your face!
If you’re not doing your due diligence on your suppliers then you’re effectively washing your hands in some very dirty water. And don’t assume that once you’ve performed that important step that you can stop showering. You need to keep on top of suppliers to make sure they’re delivering in line with your commercial values and objectives.
If your insurance affairs aren’t in order then it’s less a case of bad hygeine, more a case of walking around with an active grenade in your back pocket. As well as ensuring that your business has correct, up-to-date and appropriate insurance (e.g. public liability, employers’ liability), make sure that your suppliers and remote workers do too.
If your remote workers, freelancers and subcontractors aren’t demonstrating the core values and standards that you are then it’s like someone’s farting in the lift and blaming it on you. Make sure that they’re well trained and insured as appropriate.
Do you have cash for necessary repairs to your premises? Faulty equipment? If for an unforeseen reason you’re down a member of staff without time to re-hire, can you afford to cover for them with a temp? If you don’t have liquidity for that rainy day then you may as well be walking around with your fly open.
Does your workforce have the training to do their job to the best of their ability? Do they have access to further training that can help them improve? Having well trained, knowledgeable staff is only ever a boon.
Accountability for Staff
Even well trained staff make mistakes, but ensure that human error is to blame and not your business. Implement measures for staff to take accountability for their actions or you could end up with someone else’s mess on your hands.
Health and Safety
Ensure that everyone knows and is trained in the health and safety requirements and implications for their role. Absent or injured staff will damage your productivity and toxify your reputation.
Accurate and appropriate reporting is one of the best way to keep your compliance record squeaky clean and fresh smelling. And if your business has a culture of compliance then you’re not even making any extra effort!