Hallmark #5: Cultivates a ‘Can-Do’ Attitude Among Paid and Volunteer Staff
When everyone takes responsibility for finding and fixing safety hazards and other downside risks, a ‘can-do’ risk management culture is created. Moreover, when a nonprofit encourages a ‘can-do’ risk management culture, half the battle is won. Staff with a ‘can-do’ risk management mindset can reduce accidents and injuries and encourage others to ask the crucial question: ‘How can we safely host this event/sponsor this program/provide this vital service?’
Employees and volunteers who are educated about spotting risks are confident in their own judgment that something presents a hazard, and are empowered to take action. In nonprofits that cultivate a ‘can-do’ attitude, the senior staff and board send the signal together that there is ‘no permission needed’ to address risks on the spot.
In nonprofits with a ‘can-do’ culture, everyone is a risk manager.
To cultivate a ‘can-do’ attitude among paid and volunteer staff, your nonprofit will:
- Encourage staff and volunteers to participate in risk management and safe activities throughout all programs and levels of the organization.
- Highlight, through internal and external communications, all the safety efforts that have been fruitful in the past.
- Reward staff who identify risk and loss issues and reward those who work to reduce loss and mitigate risks.
- Keep safety messages in plain sight, posted in an area that is relevant to the message.
- Recognize staff teams, departments or program areas that have operated safely or reported risks or suggested ways to reduce risks.
- Practice effective role modeling and mentoring: the risk management champion and senior decision makers should each set an example in their daily work.
- Implement an ‘open door’ policy or other procedures for reporting hazards or risky activities as well as a “whistleblower protection policy.” Communicate the procedures to everyone: paid and volunteer staff, including the board.