Website design By BotEap.comAs human beings, we are very good at thinking that really bad things only happen to other people, or that, under Murphy’s Law, they are inevitable and unavoidable. The same attitude applies in many companies despite the well-documented victims of recent events, such as floods and supply chain problems. Crisis planning is an essential component of being a resilient and well-managed business, offering the best chance of staying up and running after a significant disruption. Website design By BotEap.comWhat qualifies as a business crisis? Website design By BotEap.comThe nature of a crisis can vary widely, from a natural disaster, to a leaked memo containing confidential information, to the office next door that engages you in your crisis by default. In other words, a crisis can come from almost anywhere, but by definition it is unexpected and has the potential to have negative consequences. A crisis can affect the safety of personnel, the availability of resources, critical systems, shareholders and potentially threaten the success or existence of the company in the medium and long term. Website design By BotEap.comHere are some tips on what to do if a crisis hits your business before having a crisis plan in place. Website design By BotEap.com1. Find out what has happened Website design By BotEap.comThis may seem a bit strange to begin with, but it is arguably the most important. When a crisis occurs, whatever the cause, it can be difficult to know what exactly triggered the alert. How did you find out? Are your sources reliable? Do you have staff who can provide you with eyewitness accounts? Only once you know the true nature of the crisis and its scope will you be able to deal with it adequately. Separating rumors from facts can be more difficult than you might think in the immediate aftermath of a crisis. Website design By BotEap.com2. Clearly identify a crisis team and a team leader Website design By BotEap.comThe key characteristic of a crisis team is that they need to work well together, while having a wide range of skills and knowledge. There must be at least one person with sufficient authority within the team to make strategic decisions and authorize spending, as some crises will require emergency funds to cover accommodation, travel and food for those involved. Website design By BotEap.comThe team leader does not necessarily have to be the most knowledgeable in the business, as long as they have the ability to remain calm, assimilate the information presented by the crisis team, command respect and act decisively, delegating as necessary. People are likely to be stressed out, sometimes panicky, can the crisis team leader handle that? Website design By BotEap.com3. Assess the impact (on your people, assets, customers, and reputation) Website design By BotEap.comOnce you understand the scope of the crisis, you can assess how it will affect your business. Is any member of staff injured or in danger? Is it necessary to bring in additional staff members (because the crisis happened outside of business hours or on a holiday, for example)? Do you have any stocks that are at risk? Can you still provide essential customer services or will you have to close? How will the press react? Website design By BotEap.comIt is important to understand what is critical to the business at this stage so that you can prioritize what is needed to continue to operate effectively. Website design By BotEap.com4. Develop an action plan Website design By BotEap.comOnce the impact has been assessed, determining what needs to happen in a methodical way ensures that nothing is missed or duplicated. Most crises involve time pressure; some people refer to a “golden hour” immediately after the crisis has occurred; What you do in that first hour can have a significant impact on the outcome. Don’t underestimate how chaotic things can get during some crises – once immediate responses have been carried out (i.e. evacuation of a building), the time it takes to put together a plan could potentially alter the outcome of your business. . A plan, no matter how basic, will help ensure that there is integration and coordination in what happens, and will minimize the likelihood of “left hand / right hand not speaking” syndrome occurring. Website design By BotEap.com5. Develop a timeline of what is happening when Website design By BotEap.comThis will clearly differ based on the nature of each crisis, but depending on your plan it could include events such as the arrival of critical staff members, the arrival of technical support teams, early power restoration, transmission times, etc. Outlining when key events are going to happen enables efficient resource allocation. Website design By BotEap.comThe best crisis teams can focus on the future effectively, see and prepare for impending needs, as well as avoid problems that inevitably occur down the road. Many times the crisis is only the first of a series of events that occur as a result of the alteration of normality. Website design By BotEap.com6. Implement the plan Website design By BotEap.comHaving developed the plan, the next big challenge is communicating it effectively to those who need to know. This is a real test for your team and, without a predetermined and rehearsed crisis plan, one of the most difficult areas to handle well “on the fly.” The way you talk to staff, executives, first responders and many others who need to know what you are doing and when is critical to your success in crisis management and your reputation. At the end of the day, you must DO something. The worst plan is the one that comes too late. Website design By BotEap.com7. Keep a record of decisions, actions and problems. Website design By BotEap.comKeeping a detailed record of decisions, actions, and problems is an important component of crisis management. Not only will it allow you to ensure that all actions are completed on an ongoing basis and help to tie up loose ends when the crisis is over, but it can become a legal document supporting the accounts of events should litigation arise. Choose the person to keep it carefully and make sure the crisis leader reviews it regularly. Website design By BotEap.com8. Develop an internal and external communications plan. Website design By BotEap.comCommunications are critical – inform those who need to know regularly – the media, your staff, stakeholders, and customers. However, it’s important that the right information reaches the right people in a timely manner, so developing a clear communications plan helps you get there. Effective communication in the face of a crisis can greatly enhance your reputation. Website design By BotEap.com9. Take care of your staff and their well-being Website design By BotEap.comYour staff may be dealing with shock, stress, and more. Ensuring their well-being is clearly within the remit of a responsible employer, but it also means that the crisis will not be compounded by neglect of their needs. In some cases, there may be long-term impacts if problems are not properly addressed in the early stages. Website design By BotEap.com10. Manage your information Website design By BotEap.comOne of the biggest challenges in dealing with a crisis is managing information as it moves in and out of your crisis team. This is where you develop a clear picture of what reality is and separate fact from fiction. The pin of your answer will focus on the information you receive and how you respond to it, so its processing must be fast and accurate. White boards, flip charts, and information sessions help. Website design By BotEap.comAnd when the crisis ends? Website design By BotEap.comUpon returning to normal, review how you dealt with what happened and learn the lessons for next time. If you are reading this and are lucky enough to have escaped a business crisis so far, consider developing a crisis plan – time spent planning is never wasted and will allow for a much more effective and controlled response, reducing stress on your staff. . “Train hard, fight easy” is a worthwhile maxim in the world of crisis management and is backed by the experience of all those companies that have come before you.