Taking a Broader Look at Risk Management

In this issue devoted to managing risk, I’d like to provide a broader perspective that encourages you to view risk management differently.

Suicide Prevention

CFMA has been at the forefront of this subject for the last six years. When I’m asked why CFMA got involved in this issue, my response has always been focused on risk management. I believe that the most valuable resource a company has is its

people; if you do not invest and seek to protect that resource, then your company will be at risk. That, of course, says nothing about the potential risks a company faces when there is a suicide, as well as the potential liabilities that might ensue.

For example, I know of a large electrical contractor that had a foreman die by suicide in the boiler room of a Fortune 100 company. The owner questioned whether the electrical contractor could continue the job, so this put the company at risk of losing the project. Then the spouse of the deceased sued the company, blaming them for his suicide. Consider the impact this horrific incident had on the company from a morale standpoint as well as its financial impact. Protecting your people and understanding how to address mental health in your company is not only the right thing to do morally, but it is also the right thing to do from a risk management perspective.

Visit preventconstructionsuicide.com to learn more about how you can train your employees to become more aware of how to address this difficult issue.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

CFMA’s efforts regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion also have an element of addressing the issue of risk management. Our recently formed Diversity & Inclusion Committee has been focused on developing a business case for why this issue needs to be addressed.

One way to look at diversity, equity, and inclusion is as a workforce opportunity. While the construction industry is excited about the prospect of a major influx of work due to pending federal infrastructure legislation, who will work on all of these new projects?

By creating cultures of inclusivity, companies will be better able to attract and retain women,  minorities, and others who are underrepresented in construction.

CFMA Membership

Consider investing in your people by having them become members of CFMA.

Having your staff become CFMA members mitigates your risk by having more educated and more valuable employees, whether it’s by reading CFMA Building Profits; attending monthly free webinars, online courses, and/or chapter courses; or by reading and posting on the Connection Café.

And, boy, do I have a deal for you! September begins CFMA’s 12+ membership campaign (see page 5 for more information). With this promotion, new members can join CFMA with extended benefits until March 31, 2023.

In conclusion, if you want to consider a winning formula to mitigate risk, learn more about how to address suicide prevention, consider expanding your pool of potential employees by having a more diverse workforce, and also have them become CFMA members. 

Copyright © 2021 by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). All rights reserved. This article first appeared in September/October 2021 CFMA Building Profits magazine.