If your organization takes a reactive approach to incidents and issues, you’re putting the company and your employees at risk. Instead, companies should focus on prevention. But how?
Effective prevention requires the right tools. In this article, we’ll teach you how to prevent issues with case management software and achieve a safer, happier workplace.
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Uncover Areas of Risk
Identifying patterns of behavior helps you identify where problems lie in your organization. As a result, you can focus your training and review policies and procedures to prevent potential issues.
For example, if your company sees frequent harassment, you should rework your training on the subject, update your policy and encourage employees to speak up when they see harassment occurring in the workplace.
Case management software can make this process easier. Look for a system with trend analysis, which can analyze incident data and organize it to help you spot areas of risk. You can determine which types of incidents happen most often, which locations are “hot spots” for issues and more.
The Los Angeles Metro’s Office of Civil Rights used to work on an inefficient, unorganized system that made trend analysis difficult. i-Sight’s case management software allowed them to create detailed reports on the numbers and types of cases they received to help with training and prevention. You can read the whole case study here.
Catch Issues Before They Escalate
Many workplace issues and incidents could have been prevented if they were caught early. However, companies often don’t notice something is wrong until a major incident occurs, which can cause both financial and emotional damage.
Using case management software ensures that complaints don’t fall through cracks and escalate. The system gives you a consistent investigative procedure, keeping cases on track for a timely resolution. With paper- or spreadsheet-based systems, investigations might come to a standstill when the investigator has competing priorities or needs information from another department. Case management software uses alerts and reminders to ensure this doesn’t happen.
An easy-to-use, robust intake mechanism can also help you catch misconduct early. Employees know what’s going on “behind the scenes” and can report on bad behavior that isn’t evident to management or HR. Addressing these smaller issues right away might prevent a major incident later.
Similarly, you can spot red flags of troubling issues before an incident ever occurs. Have you received a complaint of belligerence from a normally quiet employee? Intervening early lets you get the employee the help they need, as well as protects other employees and your organization from harm.
Show You’re Serious About Ethical Behavior
Having a case management system shows employees that you value ethical behavior. It means that you actually investigate misconduct and that there are real consequences for bad behavior.
This attitude should help you create and enforce a culture of ethics in your company. Employees will see that management is committed to doing the right thing and, in turn, will be encouraged to do the same.
Having a good reporting mechanism in place also reinforces this idea. This shows employees that you are dedicated to investigating every incident and complaint, no matter how small. When they feel their concerns are taken seriously, employees will be more engaged and less likely to behave badly.
Get the Big Picture
Lack of communication across the organization can lead to information silos, in which related information isn’t shared between departments and patterns of issues go unnoticed. Problems escalate until a major, costly incident occurs.
However, an enterprise-wide case management system gives you a holistic view of issues in your workplace so that you can spot patterns of behavior or incidents. When departments all have access to the same information and work together, you get a variety of perspectives on how to address problems through changes to policies and procedures and other preventive measures.
Measure Organizational Health
Analyzing your organizational health can help you prevent issues by highlighting inefficiencies. Case management software can help you answer questions such as:
- How long do investigations take, on average?
- Do they stall out at a certain step?
- Is there one type of incident that happens often?
- Do you have a backlog of cases?
- How often do incidents occur?
- How responsive is the team to complaints?
Not only can the software point out your problem areas, but its tools and processes can help you improve upon them. Once you know the weak spots in your investigative process, you can refocus your resources for a safer, happier workplace.
Reduce Repeat Incidents
Finally, using case management software to prevent issues is faster and easier than other systems. A quicker investigation and resolution reduces the risk of escalation and repeat incidents.
A case management system with case linking also helps prevent repeat issues. Within the case file, you’ll be able to view any other cases that involve the same subject, location or victim. Then, you can come up with a preventive action plan to stop these patterns of behavior.
Want to share a quick run-down of how case management software can help you prevent misconduct? Download our free cheat sheet to tell your colleagues about the benefits.