STEPS FOR CREATING A CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN
Prevention is better than cure. This applies to almost all aspects of our daily lives, even in business. Recent events proves that crisis can happen anywhere, anytime. So, how do you prevent a crisis from heavily impacting your business?
Having a solid crisis management plan consists of measures and steps to prepare your business from any possible crisis. Here are some steps that you can take to have a crisis management plan in place, even before any disaster strikes.
1. Predict and anticipate.
Start by preparing. List down all possible scenarios of disasters that could happen to your organization. With each scenario, think of possible ways to prevent it and steps to take in case it does happen. Every step should have clear timelines and deadlines.
2. Have a clear set of objectives.
These objectives should be crystal-clear not only to you but also to the rest of your organization. Think how each crisis that you will anticipate will affect these objectives. Your objectives will give direction on each step that you will take.
3. Create a dedicated team.
Your crisis management team should be consisted of members from every department. This team’s responsibility is solely for crisis management. It is advisable to have consultants or specialists included in the team who can train and guide you as you brainstorm. This team should meet monthly to update, discuss and review your plan.
4. Create a concrete plan and test it.
After anticipating every possible disaster scenario, setting your objectives and identifying who will be part of the team, the next step is for you to create your crisis management plan. Your plan should fit your business needs and goals, but at the same time flexible enough to adjust to when the crisis happens. Make sure to cover all aspects of your business such as your finances, operations, human resources and business continuity. Test each plan according to the possible scenarios to ensure that they are not just good in writing but most importantly, when the need for it to be executed arises.
5. Have an efficient communication network and monitoring systems.
Make sure to take into consideration how you will be able to keep communications open. Determine the best tool for you and your team to ensure that all of you get to receive updates consistently. You also need to have a team monitoring news about your company and its members, feedbacks from clients and latest news that could impact your business. If they are up-to-date to what’s happening, it will help you in anticipating and preventing any disaster from happening.
Often while planning, you might even realize that you can prevent some crisis simply by changing processes in your business operations. Avoid ignoring small issues because these might eventually lead to a bigger problem. Your crisis management team should start analyzing every detail of your business operations, management, policies and strategies. In every changes and implementations, make sure to inform all concerned individuals. No one knows what’s going to happen in the future and it’s better to be well-prepared than trying to play catch-up when the problem is already there. And if your company survives the crisis, you will earn the respect and trust of your colleagues and clients.