Couple todays fast paced ever changing world and environment, with the extreme public and Governmental scrutiny that companies face, then throw in information that can go viral in a few minutes, in addition to environmental factors such as pandemics and natural disasters…. and you have a recipe which means that preparing for possible future crisis is an absolute necessity for all business.
ISO 22301:2019 – Security and Resilience Business Continuity and BS 11200:2014 – Crisis Management are the current international crisis management and business continuity standards. They can be used to either create management system from scratch, or review, assess and improve your current disaster recovery, crisis management and business continuity programmes and plans.
Seamlessly integrating an emergency response plan into your existing management systems, policies and procedures will ensure that you stay consistently ready to take effective steps to minimize the negative consequences to your business and reputation in the event of a crisis.
Tips to Proactively Prepare for the Worst
- Identify your Crisis Communications Team – Ideally, the company CEO leads with the top public relations executive and legal counsel as chief advisers
- Identify your Spokespeople – These will be the only ones authorized to speak for the company in times of crisis
- Train Your Spokespeople – If they don’t know how to get “the most important news” across to the interviewer they could devastate your company
- Establish Your Communications Protocols – Establish an emergency communications “tree” and distribute it to all company employees, informing them of what to do and who to call if there’s an actual or potential crisis
- Identify and know your Audiences, both Internal and External – These can include your employees, the community, media, customers, private investors, and regulatory agencies
- Anticipate Crisis – Be proactive and brainstorm potential crises. These could include; reputational risks, crisis effecting customers, crisis effecting suppliers, terrorist attacks, outbreaks of diseases or infections, loss or illness of key personnel, restricted access to premises, IT system breakdowns, power cuts, fire or other physical threat, theft or vandalism, environmental disasters
- Assess the Situation – Be sure that you won’t react without adequate information. Properly plan to create your crisis plan. Assess the likelihood of each scenario occurring and determine the potential impact of each on your business
- Identify Your Key Messages – Keep it simple. Usually no more than three main messages for all audiences and a few targeted messages for key audiences
- Decide on your Communications Methods – Brief employees, clients, the community and/or investors personally or via text messages, e-mails or social media. You could also distribute news releases, letters or hold briefings and news conferences
- Ride out the storm – Be prepared for your audiences not reacting the way you want. Take an objective look at their reactions to decide if you should make further comment
After you have created your crisis plan provide copies to all department heads and managers. Keep it handy for review and schedule practice drills. Be sure to lead your team through mock crisis to test your plans. After your drill everyone should reconvene to evaluate the plan.
The crisis team should also schedule regular meetings to review and update the plan, reviewing the quality of the decision making, whether it is up to date with current thinking and legislation and has correctly identified all possible threats – with a focus on capability and ability to respond.
Corporate OHS is an experienced, UAE-based, HSE solution provider that you can trust to help you safeguard your company, staff and assets.
We provide expert guidance to organizations looking to create safer workplaces, meet statutory HSE compliance and effectively, efficiently and economically control their business risk. This is done via highly qualified and experienced HSE consultants, with significant international exposure and in-depth local market knowledge, implementing robust HSE solutions perfectly aligned to a company’s activity.
Our multitude of case studies show successful project delivery including; the development, implementation and improvement of health and safety management systems including ISO 45001 and OSHAD compliant, long term senior HSE staff secondments and monthly retainers, the undertaking of risk assessments and implementation of effective control strategies, HSE documentation reviews, HSE legal compliance reviews, crisis management and business continuity services.