Health and Safety

10 essential risk management skills that every manager should have

If you want to be successful as a safety manager or leader, no matter which business or industry you work in, it’s important that you are able to understand how to manage risk. 

In its simplest form, risk management is being aware of what could go wrong at any time, deciding if these risks can be managed or how they would affect the business, and finally taking action to avoid either the problem or its consequences.

Risk management can perfectly marry art and science and successful managers usually have a range of special qualities across the board.

Often, good risk management goes unseen – if things go well no one knows what strategies were implemented behind the scenes to prevent a disaster! 

In the event that something may go wrong, people start to ask how it happened and look for leadership. With our expertise in workforce compliance and safety management solutions we have complied 10 essential skills to help you strengthen your risk management.

So, what skills should managers have to manage workplace risks?

Analytical risk assessment skills

It is pretty obvious that in order for any manager to assess and predict risk, you must have analytical skills, but it really goes further than that. 

Being able to collect and analyse data is one thing. If you are able to use that data to make strategic or tough decisions, you’re well on your way to being a great manager of risk! 

Analysing the data to identify any possible gaps so that additional research can be conducted is another essential component. Thus, to obtain a clear picture, you must be motivated to pursue the matter further.

An online risk management system such as Rapid Risk can improve your ability to report, track and respond to risks, so that no essential data is missed. Rapid’s risk management software allows you to not only view all risks at a glance but categorise and sort them easily so you can focus on being an effective decision maker.

Recommended reading: 5 key features to look for in risk management software

Problem-solving mantra

If potential risks are found in your workplace, you must be curious enough to look at the business issue and get to the fundamental solutions. Seeking real answers and taking a strategic approach to problem-solving are both possible when you have the determination to solve problems. 

Strategic thinking

If you like thinking about how things affect all areas of business and are able to look at all possibilities, it’s likely you are more able to come up with solutions as well as look at opportunities. 

You need to be able to see the big picture, and then break it down to find solutions and opportunities. 

Financial knowledge and skills

Every business faces some level of financial risk, and the statistics are frequently rather alarming! A good manager can identify and measure the risk, as well as implement strategies to mitigate those risks. Rapid’s contractor management software can take care of this for you. CreditorWatch reports are built into the dashboard, so you can quickly and easily monitor credit scores of your suppliers and contractors.

If you are able to identify which contractors and suppliers pose a financial risk to your company, then you can focus on contingency plans and prepare for the unknown.

Risk management skills

Regulation rigour

No one is saying you have to do a happy dance over constant changes in regulation, however it is vital that you invest the time to stay up to date, and understand all regulatory changes and updates. Great risk managers must tackle regulation with the seriousness that it deserves. Having a dedicated workforce management system like Rapid, will enable you to maintain compliance across the business.

Ability to build relationships

In order to manage risk, you will also need to be effective at relationship building as you will need to manage relationships between various departments and external groups, such as stakeholders.

In addition, you will also need to have the ability to produce risk reports, attend meetings and present your proposals to other senior members of the management team or the board.

Working under pressure

Managing risk is inherently stressful: it means managing huge issues, problems and solutions, often with very real and expensive issues if not contained. A seemingly simple task like ensuring all workers are up to date with their qualifications can become impossible to manage manually as your business grows.

Having systems in place, and planning strategically, can really help you to mitigate the stress involved. For example, contractor management software, Rapid Contractor Management, can help take the edge off by empowering you to know the compliance status of every contractor through live dashboards that are accessible at any time.

Recommended reading: Contractor Management Systems: Everything you need to know

Risk management skills

Adaptable to new concerns and changing environments

Are you good with change? Develop your ability to deal with political, financial and professional environments!

As a manager, each day can bring new concerns leading to changing environments in which to do business. 30 years ago, managers didn’t need to worry too much about cyber-attacks. Now, data breaches, ransomware and cyber malfunctions are real risks in business. Making sure your software is up to date and compliant with security standards such as ISO 27001 is a necessity.

There are also political factors to consider: a change of government (or even a change of Prime Minister!) can lead to changing business landscapes. 

And don’t forget changes within ethical and moral climates. As society changes and adapts, so does business, so you need to be willing to adapt with the times. 

Management and leadership skills

Having all the skills above are great, but to really excel in risk management you need strong management skills to support your staff to also manage risk in their departments, help the team accept changes, as well as great leadership to make it all happen. 

Good managers are able to command respect while remaining friendly with the whole team. 

Feeling confident in the fundamentals of a safe workplace is imperative to inspire a proactive safety culture. These are skills which can be strengthened, and so it is important for managers to keep up to date with ohs training, such as with our free Workplace Health and Safety for Managers course available with Rapid Induct. Find out what other courses are available here.

Risk management skills

Ability to bring your team along too

So, you’ve put in all the hard work: you constantly assess data, look for strategic ways to achieve goals and solve problems, and you can spot risks a mile away…… the next piece of the puzzle is to learn how to get the whole team on board with you! 

As you identify and manage risk, there will inevitably be changes that need to be implemented in the business or learnings for the whole team. It’s your job to get everyone to see how important it is that your advice and learnings are worth listening too! Diplomacy and tact in your risk management strategy only work when everyone is on board. 

How Rapid can help improve and streamline your risk management system

Are you looking for an online solution to manage risk in your business? Request a demonstration to find out about our modular workforce management solutions. We help businesses of all sizes, across all industries, to improve their work practices. 

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