Critical Illness and Business Impact

I have recently been dealing with the fall out of a key member of a company falling suddenly and catastrophically ill. The company was highly dependent on his contacts and deal making skills and the team around him lacked senior management experience in the industry.  When he unexpectedly collapsed the company faced serious issues of maintaining sales momentum - critical when there are loans repayments to be met  - and of retaining the confidence of its commercial partners.

How can you limit the impact should this happen to you?

 - ensure that passwords are stored somewhere safe so that in an emergency the company is not blocked from accessing key programs or accounts

 - ensure that at least two people are trained to carry out each business critical task

 - have more than one signatory on bank accounts

 - monitor the hours people are working and be alert to signs of ill health  - don't be afraid to slow down or step back - Rome need not be built in a day

 - encourage early investigation and treatment of any health worries.  Private health caare insurance need not be as expensive as you think and could be worth investigating

 - if you can afford it consider "key man insurance" which will put you in funds to pay for a replacement member of staff

 - look at your recruitment policy and consider whether you are hiring too many junior staff to cover effectively for managment absences.

 - review the balance on your board - can your non execs support you in the event of key man absence

 - ensure that your investors and commercial partners get to know and trust other members of the management team so that they can retain confidence should one person become ill

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to this blog in strict confidence please do get in touch.

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