The Organizational Risk Companies are Underestimating

There’s a paradigm shift underway in the risk management universe. The widespread, dire workplace conditions that prompted the formation of the first labor unions are largely a thing of the past. The standards, regulations and regular inspections of governing bodies, like the Department of Transportation, have had the desired effect: acceptance, adoption and adherence. Workplace safety has become integrated into the daily life and operations of most high functioning companies. Safety is, by and large, normalized.

So, what’s next in risk management? If not workplace safety, what’s the next area of greatest vulnerability? The risks companies face today are less about physical safety and more about individuals within the organization. One of the greatest, and most underestimated risks to a company’s prosperity lies with employees who don’t feel aligned to the mission, vision, and core values of the company — those who don’t feel purposeful in their role. Misalignment is not a safety risk, but it is a major organizational risk.

Mitigating misalignment is a comprehensive, multi-step process that starts with your company’s brand, how it’s represented externally and the kind of people it is attracting to your organization. Most companies put a lot of time, effort and resources into building a very intentional internal culture. But at C3, we see companies every day that don’t have an external brand that echoes that carefully curated internal culture. If, like most trucking companies, you are spending significant dollars advertising jobs on websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, but the way your culture operates isn’t evident on those platforms – you have no videos, branding, employee testimonials or mission statement, you look just like every other trucking company. There’s nothing that would show a potential driver who you are or why you’re different.

Hiring for brand alignment isn’t just about who passes a background check or has a good driving record. It’s about how your brand attracts employees who are going to be a cultural fit. That’s where the process of creating alignment begins.

From there, the process flows into the interview stage. What kind of questions are you asking? Do you have a diverse hiring panel? Are you communicating and emphasizing your company culture and expectations during the interview process? How are you assessing whether candidates are a good fit? We get it – it’s hard to get truck drivers right now. But if you start compromising cultural alignment and shared values just to get bodies in trucks, it will end up costing you more on the back end.

The final step in the process of hiring for brand alignment is your new hire orientation process. This is an area where most companies could stand to improve. If you set the tone on Indeed and echoed it throughout the interview process but you aren’t sending the same consistent message on day one, you’re missing a step. Orientation is another opportunity for your new hires to hear from leadership, to reinforce the company mission and values and to communicate to them the role that they play not only in achieving business goals but also in protecting, fostering and nurturing your culture.

At C3, we use and provide our clients with a learning management system to house all of our content pertaining to orientation and ongoing safety training. Orientation isn’t just about where to find the coffee. It’s about relaying the intention of the company culture and connecting the individual to the purpose they play in that. If they don’t leave orientation purposeful in their job, the connection won’t be there.

The consequences of missing any of these steps are significant: misaligned hires, bad culture, and toxic people who can undermine everything from your culture to your client relationships, and ultimately, your revenue.

Misaligned hires come at a tangible cost: higher turnover leads to more post-termination workers’ comp claims, which are very difficult and costly to defend in the state of California. On top of that, the higher your turnover, the higher your unemployment tax rate will be. These can be significant costs to your company. But the good news is they are controllable costs. If you can keep your turnover low, you can keep your unemployment tax rate and your post-termination workers’ comp claims low, and your profits higher.

You have the power to take control. In the same way you mitigate risk through safety measures, trainings and precautions, you can be intentional about avoiding misalignment in your hiring process. Culture isn’t just a concept. It’s not a nice-to-have. It’s a living, breathing, tangible thing, and it’s a crucial component to your company’s success through risk management.

At C3, our job is to help our clients prosper and we do that by providing risk management solutions on every front. We can help you overhaul your external brand, your hiring process and your orientation to ensure you are attracting the right employees and aligning them to your mission and culture from their very first touchpoint.