Most companies have a program for risk management training, but when was the last time you looked at it? There are lots of opportunities for full and refresher risk management training in your business, and ensuring your staff are well-equipped to identify and deal with risk is a major factor in ensuring business stability.
Risk management practices help business leaders make better decisions and implement strategic projects faster and with less chance of endangering business goals.
You can build risk management training into your normal operating practices easily. Below you’ll learn about the different moments when you can do risk management workshops and classes to boost your team’s ability to deal with the challenges facing your organization. The better prepared your team is, the easier it will be to handle problems if they arise and mitigate risk to limit the impact on your firm.
When a new manager is appointed
When someone steps into a management role for the first time, they may not know what their risk obligations are. Do they have a full understanding of the organizational processes for risk management and how these may affect their work? Do they know how the business expects them to provide governance for their own work and that of their team?
A risk management course can be part of the onboarding process for a new management hire, both for internal promotions and appointments from outside the organization. You can easily build in an online or classroom risk management course, tailored to your business, into the induction for new managers.
When a manager takes on new responsibility
Even if your managers have had risk management training, their roles can change over time. As the organization adapts, managers need to take on new responsibilities. These could come with different or increased risks.
Often, the business shifts that lead to managers switching roles or taking on new tasks is an exciting time, with much business change and uncertainty. Risk management might not be at the forefront of anyone’s mind, so writing it into the way you do change management and human resource changes means that everyone will know what is expected of them in their day-to-day job roles.
When an employee takes a new role
Managers are not the only people with risk management responsibilities in the team. Project team members, PMO team members and department subject matter experts – in fact, everyone in the business – has a role to play in making sure that corporate risk is identified, escalated and adequately managed.
Risk management training should be something offered as standard to all employees so everyone knows the right policies and procedures to follow.
The PMO can take the lead on risk training for people moving into a project management role. Even project team members, who might not have worked in a project environment before, can get a quick project risk management overview. Then they can support the work of the project team, identify risks and manage and control those project risks in their area. You’ll know if a PMO-led workshop is adequate for the potential risk exposure, or whether for large strategic initiatives it would be better to run a full risk course, facilitated by experts.
When procedures are updated
You probably have a process for regularly reviewing risk management policies and procedures. Many formally-controlled documents have a review cycle that ensures they are kept up-to-date. But do employees know what has changed?
If the updates to risk procedures are substantial, you can run mini-risk management workshops to inform and train staff on what’s new. If the changes are small, you might be able to do this in a corporate newsletter or an email out to employees affected by the changes. However you communicate, a procedure update is the perfect opportunity to remind people of their risk responsibilities and what they should be doing.
The changes can also be noted in the document version control and any policy release notes.
When there’s an incident
When something happens in your business – or at another business in your industry – you should review your risk management processes. What went wrong in that situation, and what could have been done differently? What are the learnings from that you can take forward as a team? And what are the training implications?
An incident sometimes results in training material being updated, or new courses being run to ensure that the situation can’t repeat itself. Analysis of the incident may highlight other potential risks or scenarios that you would also like to plan for.
Make sure these are on your risk register and that you’ve run the appropriate risk workshops to communicate what’s different to your colleagues.
Other times to consider risk management training
There are other times when it’s appropriate to do risk management training. For example, you may have a policy that says each employee needs to undergo a refresher training course at regular points, perhaps every year. These refresher courses can be quick to put together and they reinforce what employees hopefully already know.
There might also be legal or contractual obligations for your business that determine when you need to provide risk management training. You may enter into a contract which specifies all employees need to have undergone a risk course in the last 12 months, or something like that. This situation is less common, but it’s worth being aware of in case it applies to you.
Finally, another typical point where we see organizations thinking about investing in risk management training is at the start of a significant strategic project. Even if your team is experienced, complex projects or an uncertain environment can be reasons why a risk refresher is a good idea.
When was the last time you did any risk management training with your teams? If it’s time, we can help with facilitated risk workshops or full courses.