The chances of encountering a severe crisis within your company are small but they do happen. It’s not so much the crisis itself that affects the business but more on the way it is handled by the management. A business crisis can arise for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Safety Incidents
- Natural Disasters
- Loss of Data
- A Criminal Case associated with an employee
- Social Media Glitches
- Industrial Espionage
As mentioned, the chances of any of the above happening are minimal, but it’s essential to have a company crisis management plan just in case. The consequences of not having an effective crisis management plan in place can not only affect the business in the short term but, in severe cases, lead to the company’s entire demise. The effect on the reputation of the employees should not be overlooked as well as this could affect their career in the long term.
Developing A Crisis Management Plan:
In partnership with an established and experienced crisis management planning company, the first step is to identify any potential threats. What would happen in the event of an IT meltdown? A cybersecurity breach? A vindictive employee who vents their anger on social media? These are just a few examples of things that probably won’t happen but need the essential crisis plans in place in case they do.
Each potential threat needs to be responded based on the seriousness of the crisis. These include the potential impact on customers, the potential impact on workers and the company itself, stakeholder interests, the level of control the company has over the crisis and whether the company has the necessary experts on-hand to mitigate any long-lasting damage.
Key Personnel And A United Front:
It also very important to have a uniform response to any crisis in the event of customer concerns or questions from the media. In layman’s terms, everyone within the company should be reading from the same page. Conflicting messages coming out of a company can make everyone associated with the company sound disorganized and confused, ultimately leaving stakeholders, among others, with a complete lack of confidence in the management and therefore in the company as a whole.
Honesty and integrity are key elements in any response. People can see through attempts to water down the crisis and this can make things even worse. Your crisis management planning partners will be able to give you further advice on the best way to respond to any particular crisis.
Don’t Release Information Without Knowing The Full Story:
When under pressure, it’s easy to speak in haste. This should be avoided. Know all the facts, details and possible implications of the crisis before releasing a statement to employees and key stakeholders. There’s always a chance you will make the situation sound worse than it is or conversely makes it seem trivial when it’s not. Again, your crisis management planning partners will be able to provide more information regarding the processes involved.
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