Organizations make a lot of mistakes during a crisis. Here are seven of the most common ones.
1. Not having a well-documented crisis management plan in place.
The plan should address how the organization will react to various situations, such as natural disasters, on-site hazardous substances, and other crises. Prepare a crisis management plan for how you will respond to an incident and communicate with employees, partners, and customers during an emergency.
A crisis management plan should include:
- Build a crisis management team (Human resources and safety advisor, PR specialist, Financial advisor, etc.) with designated roles and responsibilities.
- Perform risk analysis. List the possible crises that may arise in the future.
- Set up a communication channel that will ensure employees remain aware of the ongoing crisis and can reach out to safety officers in need of assistance.
- Set an activation protocol to be triggered as soon as the incident occurs.
- Sufficient up-to-date emergency kits.
- Emergency preparedness training for employees.
2. Not implementing a tool to broadcast safety check messages.
When a crisis hits, the first thing your organization needs to do is communicate with employees. Use a tool that allows you to broadcast safety check messages across your entire workforce in real-time.
If your organization does not have a safety check tool, check out the AreYouSafe? bot, your personalized crisis management assistant in Microsoft Teams. With AreYouSafe? bot, you can create one-time and recurring incidents. Use its guidance section to provide detailed guidelines to your employees during an emergency.
3. Not having a designated safety officer 24/7/365-days.
Having a designated safety officer means having someone who can make decisions in the event of an emergency and who will be able to communicate with other team members if needed.
A crisis can happen anywhere at any time, so there must be a designated safety officer available 24/7/365-days who can help keep employees safe and allow them to focus on their work.
Plan work shifts of safety officers into three rotational shifts of 8-hours. This way, throughout the day, employees can reach out to a designated safety officer who will be available at that time of the day.
An on-duty safety officer may take a pre-planned or sudden leave of absence. A backup should be available in such instances.
A crisis may occur on non-working days. For example, On weekends or holidays, the appointed safety officer should be available to help during emergencies.
4. Not having appointed areas to gather during an emergency.
Everyone should know where to assemble and move as a group during a crisis. A designated emergency area allows employees unaffected by an emergency to help their colleagues with assistance needs.
Consider these points while preparing an emergency exit plan.
- Prominently marked evacuation procedure mapped.
- Evacuation diagrams are displayed throughout the workplace and get regularly reviewed.
- Be thorough in ensuring there are no barriers in the exit route around the building.
Recommended Read: 6 Techniques To Ensure Employee Safety During A Crisis
5. Not having a well-documented contact list of all emergency contact personnel.
The contact list should have up-to-date and prominently written phone numbers and email addresses of emergency contact personnel. Include external emergency contacts like the local law enforcement, fire department, first responders, electricians, etc.
Employees should have easy access to this contact list. For example, take a printout of this list and display it on each employee’s desk. That way, they do not have to search for the list in an emergency.
You can also make this information available digitally in your communication channel. For example, the Wiki tab under the Microsoft Teams chat. Or you can Add AreYouSafe? bot to your team and employees can use its unlimited assistance request feature with one click.
A personalized crisis management tool like AreYouSafe? bot is a great tool where employees would not need to look for contact information. Their safety status message and additional comments will get sent to their safety admins.
6. Delay in initiating the emergency management process.
Organizations should have an emergency management process that allows them to respond quickly and effectively during a crisis. The longer you wait to initiate the emergency management process, the more likely organization will experience significant consequences.
Delays are not only dangerous; they are expensive. Within 30-seconds, a small flame can turn into a large fire. In two minutes, a fire can be life-threatening. In five minutes, a fire can spread throughout the entire building.
7. Not regularly updating the crisis management plan document.
Organizations should ensure that their crisis management plan is up-to-date and complete. Employees will know what to do throughout an emergency and remain assured that senior management has all the information to handle the crisis effectively.
One way to ensure emergency preparedness is regular drills. That may include fire, earthquake, or even drills for more specific crises like active shooter situations. You can assess the missing information via these drills and improve the plan with feedback from your employees.
A well-developed and updated crisis management plan offer critical information for the CEO and other personnel crisis management in charge. It helps them understand what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how they can leverage their organization’s resources to help manage the crisis.
Our AreYouSafe? bot team has used years of experience in the employee health and safety domain and developed a solution that can potentially save lives.
Take a look at AreYouSafe? bot in Microsoft Teams that helps you offer assistance to your employees in need with real-time updates to you about their safety status.