To do or not to do; Walking the risk tightrope…

April 22, 2019

Becky Mee, one of our talented HR Partners, discusses how to walk that risk tight rope this week…

By Becky Mee

Those of you who know me, know I’ve taken up kickboxing as I seem to talk about it a lot! In a recent session, whilst sparing with a partner and getting bopped around the head A LOT (I was more like an elephant than a butterfly), I really tried to focus on whether my next move would STOP my partner from hitting me and what risk might that incur…

The focus for that session was to get the best outcome, you need to assess the risk of a move against the reward. In other words, what are the pros and cons of a move so you can assess whether something is worth doing or not.

A couple of days later I was with a client who, stuck with a troublesome employee, was really trying to weigh up the pros, cons and costs of different courses of action to deal with them.

Suddenly, I was back sparing with my partner and realised the dilemma my client was facing was the same as mine; is this move a risk worth taking?  What will the cost be? Will it pay off and achieve my end goal? The only difference was they weren’t getting bopped around the head, but the way we were assessing risk was the same!

It all came down to a couple of simple questions:

  • What can I afford to pay/do to take the next step?
  • What am I willing to pay/do to take the next step?
  • What is the cost of taking vs not taking the next step?

Now this is where the cost started to differ (understandably!) but ultimately, the risk and the cost you must pay because of a decision will be in your:

  • time
  • money
  • business’ reputation, your own pride and/or your reputation with your team
  • conscience in sacrificing your values
  • own health, sanity and wellbeing of yourself and family members both in and out of work

Or a combination of all the above…For me it was my pride, reputation and potentially my wellbeing (lets face it, no one likes being hit!).  For my client, it was the time dealing with the employee, the cost to their clients because of the mistakes, the impact on the team and their own stress levels having to deal with the situation.  Fortunately, after assessing the risk my client came to a decision where they were happy with the cost and took the action that achieved their goal.

As a small business owner, risk is all around and you wouldn’t have started your business if you didn’t want to take a risk in the first place. However, as your business grows, decisions you make carry a risk, including those you make regards your people. Don’t be afraid to take some time to stop and weigh up the pros, cons and real costs of different courses of actions with your people; It is worth it in the long run!



Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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