There are three things about crises that all managers and business owners should remember:
1) they don’t come labelled as “crises,”
2) they can come from anywhere and
3) they can strike at any time.
“Preparing for your next workplace crisis” was the theme of the sixth annual Business Law Summit held in September and sponsored by Pallett Valo LLP, Mississauga’s largest business law firm.
Eight speakers from Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, Edelman Canada, H&A eDiscovery, and Pallett Valo LLP covered topics and strategies that included public relations, workplace accidents, legal, and electronic evidence preservation.
Here are four specific things to keep in mind that may keep you out of a crisis:
It is a common misperception that computer files belong to employees; they in fact belong to the employer. When employees delete computer files, they are not gone. Those files can be brought back by IT forensic experts. So, when a disgruntled employee leaves, you may be able to access their computer files. You can get a sense of the damage they may have caused. Did they take customer lists, for example?
Because of social media, employers have less and less control of “the message.” Today, transparency and honesty are key to dealing with all audiences.
Recording and reporting “near-misses” is just as important as reporting accidents. Why? Because “near misses” will allow employers to put in place procedures and steps to deal with them, thereby often preventing the serious accidents from occurring.
Before you jump into litigation, be aware of the time, money, people, and other resources needed. You may decide not to go down that route and resolve the issue out of court. Litigation should be a last resort.