A front line manager can’t be prepared to meet every possible circumstance that arises in the work force. Good judgment must prevail in a difficult situation that has not before been seen. However, a recent situation that came to my attention accentuates the need for every small business to have a procedure in place that allows front line supervisors or managers to gain expert counsel immediately.
What if a completely unexpected situation in the work force occurs that causes a threat to safety? Or where an employee’s actions require immediate and decisive action in dismissal or asking the person to leave the premises? What procedures are in place at your enterprise to support immediate response? If nothing else, front line supervisors, when presented a difficult real time situation, should feel encouraged or safe to immediately call for advice from the “boss.” Enormous exposure, both financially and in litigation, can threaten the very survival of a company if these real time threats are not handled properly. Can every small business owner be certain that these real time issues will be resolved efficiently and in a timely manner?
Consider implementing a calling tree – provide managers a process to follow when situations arise that require immediate attention from superiors. Uncertainty in difficult situations is unavoidable, but creating an environment where the supervisor does not feel at risk for making that call will save considerable expense and liability in the long run.
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