Effective crisis management is all about companies dealing with problems the right way. But many cannot do it. If you look back the times before Covid-19, companies and organizations were not also that good at dealing with the problems, and sometimes couldn’t take steps to ensure their crisis plans would work when needed, assuming, of course, that they had plans in place.
2020 taught businesses many things and the most important among all of them is having crisis management plans so that they can navigate any crisis in face of any bad situation like Covid and maintain business continuity. Business experts say that even after this Covid pandemic crisis ends, there will always be another crisis lurking around the corner. So, business leaders who are not having effective crisis management plans may be putting their companies, organizations, and careers at risk.
Do you want to do so? If not, get ready to build a crisis management plan. But how will you, right? Crisis management tends to vary with each situation, but some elements are common and essential for building such a plan.
The first step is a risk investigation to identify potential issues and crises that might disrupt your business function and or processes. You need to work with your crisis response team and other key members. Start listing all potential threats and vulnerabilities that could impact the organization, which are like public relation blunders, product recalls, social media gaffes, workplace issues, cyberattacks, weather impacts, etc.
Business leaders should learn ways to change according to the times and their people. They need to acknowledge that crisis management affects everyone in the company. So, while building a crisis management plan, it is important to understand the times business leaders are in and the people they are dealing with. That’s why they should not create a plan based on a situation that occurred during Covid’s situation only because crises have so many faces and may appear in several ways.
Form A Crisis Management Team
A crisis management team should be formed and that should comprise stakeholders from various departments, product lines, and include PR people, IT leaders, someone representing your talent, and someone close to your clients. Consult with the team often to brainstorm a list of potential crises you may face and put priority accordingly to identify and navigate the most likely crises. This group should plan for first.
When you have a crisis management plan, start identifying which actions will help your organization to respond effectively to each threat. Business leaders should think about the steps that would be necessary to resolve the issue, what resources would be required, and how they can determine to fix the problem with regards to whether it is customer service, sales, public relations, anything about your business you name it.
Plan On Adjusting To Many Unknowns
A crisis management plan is effective when it has the maximum number of problems covered to enable you how to scuttle them. So, when you are building a crisis management plan, ensure that you are assessing critical infrastructure needs, process impacts, and people impacts. It is true that you cannot plan for everything, but a good plan tends to include ways to keep a tab on how the crisis itself shifts, and then enable you to replan as details are uncovered. It’s not just about the actions you’ll take, but also how you plan to adjust to myriad unknowns.
Though crises abound, good crisis management does not. Plan for the worst and revisit the plan frequently to keep it up to date, especially when employees join or leave the company, or a worse situation arises within the company, new technologies are implemented, and other changes occur. You should never wait until a crisis hits to put a crisis management plan together. That’s why business leaders need to make sure to review and test the plan at least annually to keep it afresh and to be able to respond to a critical situation in a timely manner.
“The more you wait, the more damage can be,” says a business management, leadership, and strategy training executive at Promise Training & Consultancy.