How To Implement Crisis Management

Crisis Management is an organization’s process- and strategy-based approach for identifying and responding to a threat, an unanticipated event, or any negative disruption with the potential to harm people, property, or business processes. Being prepared for any event to become a crisis requires a crisis management plan.

Crises can occur at any moment with or without warning, and can take many forms: natural disasters, active shooter scenarios, terrorist events, mass violence occurrences, and even global pandemics. Beyond any immediate threat to people, property, and processes, crises and critical emergency events often yield unpredictable and cascading effects on employee morale, brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and even the supply chain.

Proper planning for critical events includes establishing a crisis management team and developing a crisis management (CM) plan to keep people from harm, maintain business continuity, enable recovery from disaster, and protect assets before, during, and after a critical event occurs. Further, it is imperative that every organization validates and tests its CM plan and deploys the right emergency communications technology to support crisis response across the organization.

What is Crisis management? What is Crisis? Crisis Management Plans.

What is a crisis response?

A crisis response is a process that identifies what issue an organization is facing and takes swift and appropriate action to prevent or mitigate it. For this, the company may implement a previously devised crisis plan. If necessary, the company may also customize the crisis plan with changes to meet current needs.

What is crisis management?

Crisis management is a process in which an organization identifies possible threats and comes up with effective strategies to deal with them. As many crises can be unforeseen and unpredictable, organizations need to be well prepared to cope with them and must be able to make quick decisions to keep them from damaging business operations.

Although it might not be possible to prevent or fully repair the damage from more severe emergencies, an organization with a carefully devised crisis management plan in place can do much to reduce the negative results of most types of crises.

The crises that affect organizations can arise from external or internal causes as follows:

External crises

Examples of external crises that can impact normal business operations include:

Internal crises

Internal crises include the following:

Both internal and external crises can impede the normal functions of an organizations operations and may cause it to lose customers and sales, leading to a decrease in income. With a strong crisis management plan, however, a business may be able to significantly reduce or even prevent the negative results that different crises can bring.

Strategies of a crisis management plan

The following strategies are the essential parts of a crisis management plan:

Conducting a risk analysis

Your organization can conduct a risk analysis of its business operations and prepare a list of adverse incidents that could potentially arise and affect them. It may also evaluate how probable it is for such events to take place. Additionally, it can try to predict the harmful business outcomes that could arise from the crises and to what extent they could damage the organization.

The possibility of inclement weather, for example, could be high in a particular region. In a worst-case scenario, severe weather could enter an organizations storage facility and damage its products, preventing them from being shipped to the market and causing financial losses. A company in an area that is at risk for this type of damage should come up with a preemptive plan that would help them reduce or prevent property loss damages.

Planning a response

Your organization should consider all circumstances that could affect its business and make proper provisions for them. Then, if the crisis does take place, everyone in your company will know what to do and how to do it. That way, you might be able to address the damage sooner and prevent long-term harm to your company and everyone working there.

For instance, to offset possibilities of damage from a natural disaster like an earthquake, an organization can create a data backup system on the cloud as well as on hard drives that they can store elsewhere. Then their data will remain protected in all situations, and it will be easier for them to resume business operations afterward.

Establishing a monitoring system

Typically there are warning signs that a crisis is imminent. By monitoring continually for signs of potential problems, it may be possible to avert some of them before they occur. With a monitoring system in place, your company can closely watch its business operations and catch issues before they grow out of proportion.

For example, an organization may benefit from setting up an automated system to scan social media for specific keywords related to its products and services. The system will send alerts if these keywords come up, allowing the organization to stay current on what people are saying about it. Then, if there are displeased customers or unpleasant rumors floating around, the organization can think of a suitable damage control plan to deal with them.

Enforcing compliance guidelines

Your organization must create compliance guidelines regarding its rules, policies, regulations and ethics, and it should make them known to all its employees. It should also make a point of strictly enforcing these rules. This can help prevent many types of internal problems.

Holding classes on cybersecurity basics, for example, can make employees less susceptible to scams or computer viruses that could compromise a companys data.

Training a crisis management team

A well-trained crisis management team should take action at the first hint of trouble and follow the established plan to deal with it, making sure there is minimal to no damage to the organizations reputation and business concerns. While some organizations have in-house crisis management teams, others may contract the work to independent firms. Crisis management personnel generally have expertise in communication and public relations.

Along with preparing for all situations, a crisis management team may also advise and train an organizations regular staff in improving customer relations. Maintaining good customer service practices could reduce instances of unhappy customers broadcasting their grievances on social media and online forums. Its often far easier to take preventive steps than to have to deal with the aftermath of a public relations crisis.

How to manage a crisis at your company

To undo the damage brought on by either an internal or external crisis, here are some steps you can take to help your company come up with a repair strategy:

1. Evaluate the crisis

The first step is to evaluate how serious the crisis is and to what extent it can damage your company. Knowing what the public perception is about the incident can help your crisis management team figure out how to change it. Find out what people are saying on social media and consider how valid it is.

2. Address the issue as soon as possible

Your organization must carefully consider all possible responses to the crisis as well as the potential reactions they could incite. Your team should be certain that your response can only be taken positively. For example, if your organization is large, you may need to think about how the media could portray the story. If there is even a slight chance that they might interpret it differently than you intended, the company needs to come up with a better response.

3. Release a public statement

After deciding on a suitable response, your company must keep it consistent and repeat the message across multiple channels. If you maintain the same concise, straightforward message every time you address the crisis, the public may be more willing to respect your response. If your company has made a mistake, it should issue a brief apology and explanation and take it from there.

4. Prepare for the future

It may be necessary to enforce new workplace policies and set up employee training sessions to avoid similar crises in the future. For example, your company can issue content guidelines regarding what employees can post on their social media sites. It can also set up approvals so that nobody can post anything without being thoroughly reviewed.

FAQ

What does crisis management mean?

The goal of crisis management is to have a system in place to effectively address the coordinated response, resources, and internal and external communication requirements during and after the negative situation.

What is crisis management and examples?

The implementation of the Crisis Management (CM) program for any organization has four main objectives:
  • Reduce tension during the incident.
  • Demonstrate corporate commitment and expertise.
  • Control the flow and accuracy of the information.
  • Manage resources efficiently.

What is crisis management and why is it important?

Crisis management can be divided into three phases: (1) pre-crisis, (2) crisis response, and (3) post-crisis. The pre-crisis phase is concerned with prevention and preparation. The crisis response phase is when management must actually respond to a crisis.

What are the types of crisis management?

The first rule of crisis management is to communicate. Early hours are critical and they set the tone for the duration of the crisis. Be as open as possible; tell what you know and when you became aware of it; explain who is involved and what is being done to fix the situation.

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