The Crisis Survey by PwC’s conducted in 2019 states that there have been at least seven leaders out of ten that have experienced corporate crises leading to their businesses in shambles in half the decade. Companies that have an employee count of more than 5000 will have more than 5 crisis in five years. Although the business executives mess up as much as the corporate crisis does, the situation of coronavirus is unprecedented and unsure of the duration.
1. Form an Exigency Management Panel
The priority of the plan must be to organize an exigency management squad that can set some concrete protocols and regulations around the company. It should include members of the senior management that represent administrative roles and mainstream problems that the customers are facing.
This team comprises of members that are reps from communications, compliance, HR, security, and legal. For further protective measures, representatives from operations, regional, IT, finance, and supply chain could also be added to the team.
2. Create Regional Workforces
Regional teams that are assigned to this crisis response team are responsible for looking over the incidents that are based on their region. Matt Hinton from the Crisis and Resilience Consulting practice for North America at Control Risks has explained how the roles need to be defined and laid out so that a certain set of people can act on a particular problem in their region.
3. Streamline External and Internal Communications
You need to start identifying stakeholder groups such as customers, suppliers, employees, business partners, and others. It’s time to craft the kind of messages that you want to deliver and the frequency of those messages as well. You must know how the gap needs to be bridged between communication fatigue and frequent communication.
Early and often communication needs to be established both externally and internally. The employees should be aware when the other message would be circulated in. this gives people the sigh of relief. It just implies that you are not just trying to respond to an incident, you are also making efforts to manage it.
4. Train Employees to Respond to Media
You need to train your C-level employees to face the public and interact efficiently with the media. Hence, professional training is required for them. This area is mostly the one where companies mess up most of their reputation.
Interaction is mandatory in Media Training. It can’t be learned from a textbook. The practice must be included in these pieces of training and one-to-one interactions must be conducted as well. Videotaping must be done in a sitting and standing both the formats. To increase realism, individuals should be employed that should act as correspondents and set mock conferences up with the individuals. By doing this the individual will feel more confident when he is under the real test.
5. Re-define your Business Thriving Strategy
Business thriving can be considered as a part of the crisis management strategy. It cannot be considered the same. For the overall well-being of the organization, additional elements are considered in the crisis management plan. However, a business thriving strategy considers a checklist of workings of the company.
Companies with an enterprise continuity strategy and not an exigency management strategy, it would be better if you think about the latter and try to implement in the exact time.
6. Practice Crisis Scenario Drills
Practicing a drill to avert the real crisis can be considered as a fail-proof plan as you get a chance to mock drill crisis response under a secure environment. The unprecedented situation of coronavirus makes it all the more worthwhile to practice such reforms in the organization due to the “long tail” impact it will have.
This long-term duration of the epidemic will fire up the executives’ functioning and they will be able to think upon tough issues that need to be tackled through if something like this breaks out again in the future.
7. Make the Recovery Phase Priority
The recovery phase is just as important as the response or the readiness stage. Recovery implies the versatility of the company to be back in business after the crisis has either slowed down or ceased to exist completely.
8. Stay Relaxed and Calm
The most important thing amidst all the crises heading towards you to break your soul is to stay relaxed and take every decision with a cool head and not panic. Halter has stated to always take a pause and enquire about your team’s well-being and monitor your customer relations proficiently. You should also be able to adapt to the course of time.
These are the most effective and fool-proof Crisis Management plan that will work in all types of exigencies in COVID-19 and any future emergency as well.
– Mamta Sharma