Many companies, especially smaller ones, minimize in-house training to cut costs. But the current business environment — with its hard-to-predict changes, external threats and regulatory demands — is causing some owners to rethink this strategy. A strong training program can not only help you attract and retain quality talent, but can also help you reduce operational risk.

Renewed emphasis

Today’s companies face many challenges beyond simply turning a profit. Many industries are highly regulated, and just about every type of business has become, in some sense, technology-dependent. This has brought a renewed emphasis on risk management.

One of the keys to managing operational risk is well-trained personnel at all levels. After all, no matter how carefully a business designs its policies, procedures and controls, they’re only as reliable as the employees entrusted to implement them.

2 examples to consider

Here are just a couple of examples of operational risks that can be reduced with good training:

1. Compliance. As mentioned, many businesses are now more heavily regulated. (This may change with the incoming presidential administration, but it’s hard to say when or how any deregulatory measures may occur.) Failure to comply with federal, state or local regulations can expose your company to penalties ranging from monetary fines, to rescission of loans or other contracts, to criminal liability. Train your employees to avoid breaking the rules and to spot compliance threats when they arise.

2. Cybersecurity. As companies’ reliance on technology and automation continues to increase, so does the risk of cyberattacks. Although the techniques cybercriminals use are becoming more sophisticated, many businesses also remain vulnerable to simple tactics, such as email phishing.

Phishing involves sending emails to employees or customers that appear to be from a legitimate source. By tricking recipients into clicking on links that install malware, cybercriminals can gain access to company assets or customers’ sensitive personal information. Teach your staff how to deal with suspicious emails and other technology-related threats.

On the lookout

It’s not enough to be aware of risks to your business at the ownership or management level. You’ve got to train your employees to be on the lookout, too. Please contact our firm for help.

© 2016

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