This article briefly discusses:
- Types of crisis;
- Beyond crisis management;
- Crisis management do’s and don’ts;
- Technology to help plan crisis management efficiently; and
- Free downloadable crisis management plan templates.
While it is impossible to predict each and every crisis scenario, that does not mean that organizations can do nothing to prepare for them. Crises can be listed under the following general categories to help organizations come up with risk management plans to minimize, if not eliminate their chances of occurrence:
This refers to instances where a company’s assets and earnings are unable to cover its operational costs and associated debts. The emergence of new competition, poor investment decisions, and mismanagement of financial resources are all potential causes for a financial crisis.
A public relations crisis refers to events that threaten to damage your brand’s reputation. A design flaw that caused a severe injury or fatality, news and accusations of employee maltreatment, and contaminated food and beverage products can potentially spark a PR crisis, possibly alienating customers, investors, and other stakeholders in the fallout.
A natural crisis talks about events that are completely unavoidable, simply because they are acts of nature. Natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the COVID-19 pandemic all fall under this category.
This type of crisis talks about internal conflicts that interfere with the efficient operation and achievement of company goals. Minor disagreements and misunderstandings between teams and colleagues from time to time are perfectly normal. However, if goals and deadlines are missed on a regular basis, managers may need to investigate if the organizational structure and internal processes are at fault so corrective measures can be applied
While crisis management plans are mainly concerned with minimizing the damage brought upon by unforeseen events, risk management plans create measures to avoid such events from happening in the first place. If the risk management plan fails to contain an issue, the crisis management plan steps in to lessen the negative impact on the company. Finally, a business continuity plan outlines the actions the organization will take to ensure that the company remains operational through the systematic utility of its remaining resources until the status quo is reestablished.
Not all crisis management plans are created equal. Though details may vary depending on the preferences, capabilities, and resources of each organization, the following items are worth noting when creating your organization’s crisis management plan:
Do – Prioritize Worker Safety
Productivity and safety are both pillars of a successful organization. However, when a crisis hits and the safety of your employees risk getting compromised, a good organization would be willing to let productivity suffer in its stead.
Don’t – Insist on BAU When Safety Risk is High
When COVID 19 became worldwide news, but before government-mandated quarantines and lockdowns were put in place, some companies were quick to make flexible working arrangements for their employees to minimize the chances of viral infection. Even though some organizational functions may be compromised by the new set-up, these proactive organizations chose the lesser of two evils by putting the safety of their employees first.
Do – Be Honest With Your Employees
When a crisis situation arises, employers would do well to honestly communicate the situation to its employees in a clear and effective manner instead of trying to cover it up. Employees want to be trusted by their supervisors and managers and often feel like they should be privy to the details of an organizational crisis especially if it could end up directly affecting them. When it’s clear that the organization trusts its employees by being honest especially in crisis situations, employees often pay that trust back which translates to performing their work at a higher level.
Don’t – Leave Details Vague and Let Employees Speculate
Organizations that choose to keep crisis details vague, if not completely hidden from its employees, leave room for speculation. Speculation erodes trust between the organization and its employees since it almost always reflects badly on the company. A good organization understands the need to keep employees in the loop to dispel malicious rumors before they start brewing, and be open about the legitimate problems the organization is currently facing in order to maintain trust, and open the possibility for cooperation.
Do – Communicate With Customers and Stakeholders
Whether your organization is facing an isolated crisis, or a global crisis that the entire world is dealing with, your customers and stakeholders expect your assurance through clear and honest communication. You will need to be open about the situation, what is being done to manage it, including the necessary adjustments concerning commitments to both customers and stakeholders. This gives them peace of mind by knowing that you have not forgotten your responsibility and that you still intend to do your part in the midst of the crisis.
Don’t – Assume That a Crisis is Unlikely
A mistake that most companies tend to make is to forego the creation of crisis management plans and focusing entirely on growth. Assuming that a crisis is unlikely can be a fatal mistake. The COVID 19 pandemic took its toll on a number businesses, revealing just how unprepared most organizations are in the face of a sudden impactful crisis.
Placing emphasis on both safety and productivity is the key to achieving and maintaining a successful operation. With iAuditor by SafetyCulture, managers and key stakeholders can create effective crisis management plans to minimize the fallout from different types of crisis so operations can recover more efficiently. Specifically, iAuditor allows your team to:
- Download premade crisis management plan templates for free from our public library, convert your existing paper templates to our digital format via smart scan, or create your own template from scratch with our drag-and-drop template builder.
- Automatically generate and share completed crisis management plans to key stakeholders via email or in-app. Revisions and changes are also updated in real-time to ensure that everyone is kept in the loop.
- Assign actions with priority levels to appropriate personnel to ensure that crisis management tasks are completed on time and nothing is missed.
- Integrate iAuditor with other Business Intelligence Tools such as PowerBI, Tableau, and Google Sheets to further streamline your process through automatic data transfer.
- Use iAuditor for free with small teams. Unlimited reports and storage for premium accounts.
Featured Crisis Management Plan Templates
Business Continuity Plan Template
Prepare emergency procedures for risks using this business continuity plan template. Identify the scope, business functions at risk and outline roles and responsibilities of key personnel.
Risk Management Plan
This Risk Management Plan Template can be used to identify the risks, record the risks’ impact on a project, assess the likelihood, seriousness and grade. Specify planned mitigation strategies and assign corrective actions needed to responsible individuals. Breakdown costs and set the timeline of mitigation actions. Use iAuditor to generate comprehensive reports and assess the risk prioritizing needs. With iAuditor you can customize response sets and set the scoring for each response to gain insights into how risks are performing over time.