After writing various posts on handling a crisis, I thought it might be good to write a little on AVOIDING a crisis to begin with. As I said before, it’s impossible to completely avoid issues like this – especially in larger organizations with many employees. And as some readers mentioned, it’s not about rules – because you can’t always enforce rules. Integrity has to be a part of the organization’s culture.
Nothing’s foolproof, but here’s a few ideas I follow that might help your organization avoid problems in the future:
1) Build a glass office. Not entirely of course, but we’re remodeling a new building we just purchased in Burbank, and we’re installing glass doors in every room. We’re also giving the offices and edit suites windows as well. Keep things out in the open in your office design, because if there’s nowhere to hide, less hanky-panky can happen.
2) Never travel with the opposite sex unless there’s at least one additional employee with you. If I have to travel with a female employee, I always bring my wife or another employee along as well.
3) Have multiple filters for handling finances. When I purchase anything, or return from a trip with travel expenses or receipts, that money goes from me to my assistant, then to our financial manager, then finally to our CPA. At any stage, they all have the authority to question anything – even though I own the company!
4) No private emails. Don’t put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want printed in the newspaper. Once you hit “send” – you have no idea where that email will end up. A recipient who’s your friend today might not be next week. The number of pastors, ministry leaders, or executives that have been fired over emails would amaze you.
5) Web filters. We’re a small company with only 10 employees, so this isn’t a major deal. But if we grew much larger, I would invest in web filtering software. Why take the chance?
6) Meet with clients of the opposite sex in public places or with other people in the room. Enough said.
Are there any other suggestions that have worked for your organization?