Treat the human factor when a crisis occurs

As an employer, you have a responsibility to care for your staff if and when a crisis occurs.

Business continuity and crisis management practices have long focused on tangible elements, especially the recovery of systems and data and the reestablishment of facilities and services. It’s equally important to ensure that your contingency plans regard the people elements as well.

Here are some tips to incorporate in your contingency plans:

  1. Identify suitable skilled staff to form a crisis response team. Keep in mind that, in a long-running crisis, people will burn out without sufficient back-up staff.
  2. Consider recent and current personnel circumstances. Young families and elderly dependants can all affect the availability and willingness of your crisis team.
  3. Ideally, someone suffering a recent close bereavement should not work on a crisis team interacting with next of kin, be it an employee or customer.
  4. Be aware that, in a crisis, your team’s core personality traits will be accentuated. We have seen internal politics, competitiveness, jealousy, insecurities and a whole host of other issues bubble to the surface within crisis management teams.
  5. Ensure strong leadership during a crisis. This is crucial if you are to have any chance of weathering the storm.
  6. Develop a workable plan, including plenty of checklists. Your crisis team won’t have time to read a thick manual in an emergency situation.

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