Is your workplace ready for taking risks?23 Sep 2014
Every good workplace will have risk prevention strategies in place. But what about those risks you need to take?
Sticking with the status quo is a great way to stay safe, but as American theologian William Shedd said: “A ship is safe in harbour, but that is not what ships are for.”
Without taking risks, you could soon find your company is being outpaced by your more daring, innovation-hungry competitors.
However, before you begin, it’s important to understand the challenges risk-taking can create. Here are three ways to ensure your company is ready to face the risks and step out of its comfort zone.
Make sure everyone is comfortable
Not everyone on your team is going to feel up to taking risks. The idea of breaking out of the status quo could impact on certain employees’ confidence and performance. This is why change management experience is such an important consideration for workplace leaders.
For instance, a recent study from the American Sociological Association (ASA) found that women are more likely to feel anxious and underperform in risky situations. However, this doesn’t mean having to avoid risks altogether.
Instead, leaders who are managing change need to understand that certain team members may require extra support, while others are able to embrace risk with little prompting.
Own the blame and share the credit
As manager you are responsible for the outcomes of the team and you are the one to receive the most criticism.
Similarly, managers are likely to experience the most praise when things go right. However, taking all the credit can lead to frustration and resentment among your team. To avoid a drop in morale and engagement, be sure to share the praise.
Know how to recognise a smart risk
Not every risk is worth taking. Before diving headfirst into these challenges, take a moment to weigh up the pros and cons. The ability to recognise smart risks is a crucial leadership skill.
A potentially smart risk will be a task you believe your team could achieve or at least learn something from.