Jane Doe, HR manager, was alarmed when she heard the production foreman was cleaning the company’s manufacturing equipment and lost his arm and ability to work.
Right after the accident, investigators and management invaded her office. They demanded training documentation, safety reports, inspection reports, insurance policies and more. Within hours, inspectors were flooding the plant fishing for information and searching for fault. What was the cause? Who was to blame? Why did this happen? Jane was on the spot answering questions, holding meetings and rushing to file paperwork. Time was of the essence to reduce litigation, fees and more.
Now, image this is happening to you.
You’re in a panic-situation with limited time available. Anxiety strikes. Fear sets in. Self-confidence drops. Your heart’s pounding and palms are sweating. Decision-making becomes chaotic.
You need good advice, and you need it now. Where do you get help?
Following are suggestions on where to seek help when the clock is ticking.
Peers and Professional Friends
When crisis strikes, you need trusted peers and colleagues inside and outside the firm for quick advice. These sources share personal experience on how they survived tough situations. The dependable friend acts as the competent mentor with solid advice and useful resources. The advice might include improving safety, reducing accidents and maintaining morale during trying times. Sometimes, this may be all you need to solve your problem.
So, how do you get someone’s attention when you need help? Do you email? Do you call? Should you leave a message? Remember that people can save, forward and disperse messages to a mass audience. So, be careful. Don’t put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want your co-workers to see in the daily newspaper. For example, the email subject line could be, “I need your advice.” Within the message, avoid stating names or details about your situation and request a meeting.
Trade, Business and Professional Associations
These groups attract like-minded industry professionals who pursue networking opportunities and peer-to-peer learning. Associations offer members access to relevant publications, conferences, workshops, webcasts, books, networking events, member directories and more. And, members share referrals, tips, best practices and advice such as how to handle emergencies with peers.
Thousands of organizations exist. But, the trick is joining the groups that meet your networking and continuing education goals. Examples of these associations include:
Chamber of Commerce
American Human Resources Development Association
American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration
American Society for Training & Development
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
List of trade organizations: http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/trade-organizations.pdf
On LinkedIn, connections matter. Growing your network helps you build trust, social capital and gain access to a group of diverse professionals. Developing a solid reputation encourages others to share contacts and resources with you. This allows faster learning and relationship building, which may help you get the right answer about filing reports or answering legal questions within the hour. Remember to exercise caution when handling a risky or confidential matter with others online. Review the person’s profile, read the testimonials, see if you share a mutual friend who can vouch for that person’s integrity.
The Bottom Line
Each day, you tackle employee issues, staffing problems and on-the-job accidents. The results can range from death while other others lead to extended work absences. These incidences can cripple firms financially and place intense pressure on you to correct these costly problems now.
Know that help is available when the clock is racing against you. Take time to stop, think and consider your options. Each choice is a potential gold nugget to help you solve your problem and achieve success.