Wow. It’s unbelievable how the world has changed in less than 2 weeks! Moving forward, I think that things will be drastically different, at least for the short term and until we all get comfortable again and go right back to our “it will never happen” mentalities that far too many are comfortable with; mentalities that result in us being unprepared when reality strikes. It’s also unlikely that it will change the way budgets items are prioritized within organizations where safety and security related items, because they don’t generate revenue, will go no further than bare minimums in order to meet regulation and compliance. This type of safety and security protocol really means nothing – it’s little more than formality and does not equate to true safety and security.
We (Blue-U Defense) are always emphasizing the most critical of the foundational elements of establishing true safety and security – “believing that it can happen”. While “believing that it can happen” is the most critical element of establishing true safety and security however, it is also the element that is lacking most, in most people and companies. This has to change NOW, and it has to a universal change that includes individuals for the good of their own personal safety and security, parents for the good of their children’s safety and security, and businesses for the good of their employees and client’s safety and security.
Here’s the question that you have to understand the answer to:
RIGHT NOW, why are so many people extremely afraid and concerned about their short and long-term well-being?
The answer is simple – because they didn’t “believe that something like this could, or would, ever happen”- and it did happen! Now, they are reacting while those that were proactive because they “believed that it could happen” are in a much greater position of advantage and therefore a much greater position of safety and security than those who are reacting at a time when it’s almost too late.
Now, do you still think those “survivalists” are “crazy and irrational” people? Or, are you regretful for not being “crazy and irrational” yourself?
Keep in mind that I am not only referring to the current crisis (COVID-19) when I talk about “believing that it can happen!” I’m talking about any crisis or incident of violence; I’m talking about victimization of those who may only have been victimized because they never thought it could, or would, happen to them and therefore they left themselves open and vulnerable.
My hope is that, as we move past this, whether as an individual, parent, school, or business we will never look at safety, security, preparedness, target hardening, etc. as just another expense that’s not justified by risk. It only takes once and, I’m telling you this will happen again and it will likely be much worse than this was!
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Employers are laying off, cutting hours, having employees work-from-home…In essence trying to maintain the safety and security of employees and clients while doing everything possible to maintain a viable business. In the end, however, when we get through this, and we will get through it, we want our employees to come back to work for us. The risks are that they will find work with companies that are still providing employment during this time and won’t come back to us when this is over. In order to keep people interested we need to think about what their currents need’s and fears are? Likely income generation, and personal, family, and community safety and security. My guess is that most of your employees are more concerned about what they will do if this is a longer-term problem and assuming it will be a longer term problem than they are assuming that it will end in time for everything to be ok and go back to normal. In other words, most people believe that this is going to be a long-term rather than a short-term problem and, as a result, they are likely looking at options to solve this challenge and, in many cases, not finding the resources for information and expertise to solve it.
On the other hand, America is coming together, and everyone is participating and doing their part to get us through this with as little damage and disruption as possible. Whether or not the effort is successful remains to be seen.
SO, WHAT CAN WE DO TO KEEP OUR EMPLOYEES INTERESTED IN US? GIVE THEM THE RESOURCES THAT CAN BENEFIT THEM – RIGHT NOW!
Here are some ideas:
I think that there are a couple of elements that we have to consider when looking for solutions to these problems. The first is understanding what people’s current needs and concerns are and finding creative, even profitable ways, to fulfill them and secondly, keeping them involved in things that make them feel important and a part of your company’s ability to survive and thrive once we get through this.
So, with this in mind, consider some of the following possibilities:
- POLICY/PROCEDURE REVIEW
If you are like many of our clients, your policies and procedures need review. When is the last time you really reviewed the details of your organizations policies and procedures? Are they still relevant? Are they full of things that addressed issues that you may have faced years ago but no longer exist today? Are they “reality-based”? In other words, will they really work under the circumstances in which they will be faced, or are they little more than “they look good on paper but will not work if reality ever strikes?”.
Policies and Procedures are critical and, should something ever happen, they will play a significant role in our level of exposure to liability. So, it’s critical that you make sure your policies and procedures are up-to-date.
Why not have your employees review them and providing feedback? This is a great time to get this done and again, if you’re like most other companies, you need it and, again, it would likely make your employees feel like they actually mean something because you are asking them to play a role in improvement.
- COMPANY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES REVIEWS
It’s always critical to evaluate your company’s products, services, and delivery methods. Now is a great time to take a look at them and determine whether, or not, they are still valid and profitable, or do they need improvement. Are there things that you are not offering that you should be offering? During normal times it’s difficult to involve our employees in this process. Currently however, it may be a perfect time. Sometimes that most incredible ideas come from those you least expect them to come from. Who better to play a role in this process than your employees – all of them!
- CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SURVEYS
Understanding how your customers see you, what’s important to them, how they feel you can improve, new products or services that could be beneficial to them, etc. is critical. Now would be a great time to make personal contact with them. Who better to have this contact than those who work for them – your employees!
- PROCESS REVIEWS
Your employees are on the frontlines of your organizations processes, procedures, and customer contact. Many times, employees don’t play a role in improvement because they aren’t asked. Allow them an opportunity to present ideas that could improve the qualities and efficiencies of your processes and procedures and/or create a better work environment and/or culture.
- GIVE THEM RESOURCES THAT WILL APPLY TO THEIR SAFETY AND SECURITY NOW, WHEN THEY ARE MOST CONCERNED
Right now, your employees are concerned about their personal and family safety and security. Giving them resources that address these primary concerns can go a long way towards maintaining their loyalty to you. Blue-U Safe Kids, Family, Community is a perfect solution!
ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES WHILE THEY ARE AWAY FROM WORK?
Not legally. But you are if you care about them and their true value to your company! Employees are your number one asset and I doubt there would be little argument about that. So, the question is are they any less important while they are away from work then while they are at work? If you lose them to an accident, illness, incident of violence etc. while they are away from work you are still losing a critical asset of your company. So, the safety and security resources that you provide them should cover as many things that could impact them while they are from work as while they are at work. In addition, providing them resources that are designed to keep them, and their families, safe while they are away from work shows them that you truly care about them; that they are more than just “an employee”. Again, Blue-U Safe is designed to cover safety and security both at work, and away from work.
Now is the time to think ahead. The employers that truly care will, and are. Its easy to say “we are in our pandemic mode and therefore can’t, or more likely won’t, entertain these types of resources right now”. That’s potentially very short-sighted. We will get back to business again. The companies that utilize this time to improve, and take care of their employees, will come back stronger than they were when this started and maybe even in an elevated position as a leader in your industry.
For information on how to become a member of Blue-U Safe contact:
Terry L Choate, Jr
CEO/President of Blue-U Defense