Keep calm and…?
Five Tips For Successful Crisis Management
By Eske Ofner, Head of Sales at F24 AG
Just think about the sudden onset of a pandemic. A crisis like this can hit any organisation at any time.
The coronavirus with its long-term effects is just the most recent example of a crisis trigger that is way outside of normal business activities. How do you cope with unforeseeable factors like this?
Tip 1: Be Prepared!
You can’t successfully manage a crisis unless you recognise that there is one well before the problems start. In some cases, straightforward monitoring tools and early warning systems can help, but for the worst crisis scenarios it will most likely be utter chaos without a clear predefined detailed set of procedures. Who needs to be contacted? How are the various tasks assigned and to whom? Who needs to meet? Along with when, where and how? And that’s only for starters.
The transformation of the old printed crisis manual or business continuity plan into a state-of-the-art crisis management software tool has many benefits. For example, contact data can be maintained more easily, alarms are automated, and everyone involved can monitor the situation in real time and collaborate easily at any time no matter where they are.
Efficient swift communication when a crisis has been identified gives the best chance for quickly regaining control of the situation.Eske Ofner, Head of Sales at F24 AG
Tip 2: Act Fast!
Efficient swift communication when a crisis has been identified gives the best chance for quickly regaining control of the situation. All stakeholders must be notified as close to immediately as possible, secure information must be easily available and quickly obtained, measures must be coordinated and initiated without delay. As the results of the latest Emergency Communications Report published by the Business Continuity Institutes (BCI) show, the “golden hour” is totally out-of-date and we are now down to the “golden five minutes” during which time responses ideally need to be initiated, but what sounds simple in theory often proves rather more difficult in practice.
According to the BCI study, at the start of an emergency only one third of all organisations were able to activate their communication plans within five minutes. Digital solutions prove their superiority here by enabling organisations to act much faster.
Tip 3: Activate Alerts Automatically!
The best information is worthless if it is inconsistent or the recipient doesn’t receive it in time. Lengthy, manual phone call chains are just as impractical as they are error prone. Who knows which communication channel or even what phone number is best in each case.
The automated alerting of all relevant stakeholders via a digital crisis management tool saves precious time. In addition, such tools offer many other benefits, such as standardised response options and setting up virtual crisis rooms via smartphone at the touch of a button or ad hoc telephone conferences.
Tip 4: Keeping An Overview Of The Situation!
As soon as everyone who needs to be informed has been alerted, the crisis team must act as quickly as possible to ensure the organisation’s ability to act both internally and externally. The greatest challenge is maintaining an overview, especially when not everyone is in the same place. All allocated tasks and developments must be coordinated and monitored in a structured manner.
Truly transparent and efficient work can only be done on a digital platform to stop things like email requests from journalists getting lost in a mailbox or being dealt with by several colleagues at the same time.
Tip 5: Document Everything – But According To Defined Auditing Requirements!
Crises are sensitive situations. Internal communication must work in a confidential and secure environment. Yet 23 percent of the companies surveyed in the BCI study used private, insecure messengers such as WhatsApp. Even for basic data protection this is not a good idea, but on top of that, availability in extreme situations is not guaranteed and documenting it all is inefficient and tedious.
Internal communication must work in a confidential and secure environment.Eske Ofner, Head of Sales at F24 AG
Digital crisis management tools make the documentation of all events in accordance with auditing requirements far more straightforward and in most cases it is completely automated. This is crucial in order to learn from a crisis or to be able to provide reliable evidence during investigations by authorities and insurance companies.