Over a year ago, heads of states and governments all around the world implemented security measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 and released funds to help citizens.
The companies that could afford it allowed their employees to work from home and those that could not were forced to close their doors indefinitely.
Crisis management is complex and must be adapted to your business. It is imperative for any business to develop a plan according to its realities. Indeed, a public sector entity will not handle a significant loss of income in the same way that a private company will.
What is a crisis?
A crisis is an unexpected event that disrupts the course of an organization's activities and ultimately, its sustainability.
What are the different types of crisis?
A crisis can be natural, economic, social, human and more.
We know today, more than ever, that no scenario should be ruled out.
Whatever the nature, it is necessary to put in place a mechanism that will facilitate its management and therefore reduce negative consequences.
What you need to know is that crisis management does not start when an event occurs. It starts long before and must be part of the company's management at large.
Any business, large or small, must prepare for an unexpected event.
Procedures, internal policies and activities should be put in place to prevent, as best as possible, a crisis. We can think in particular of the code of ethics, workforce management or the installation of a backup software.
For example, the transfer of knowledge or skills remains, to this day, one of the best means of preventing or remedying a crisis linked to staff turnover.
Response to the crisis
When the crisis is upon us, we must act quickly, but efficiently.
The slightest misplaced word, or an erroneous risk assessment could have disastrous consequences on the reputation of the company, its partnerships and its prosperity. The response must reassure the parties or audiences concerned and limit, perhaps eliminate, the physical, psychological or financial risks. This is called crisis communication.
Throughout the situation, remember to take the pulse by analyzing the state and evolution of things. This will allow you to review and readjust your action plan accordingly.
Also, think about the pertinence, or not, of punctually taking stock of the situation with your employees, clients or the general public if applies.
Once the crisis is controlled or behind you, a review, or post-mortem, of the situation will allow you to assess, among other things, your audiences' reactions or if some aspects could have been prevented.
To be objective and thorough, all audiences who have been directly or indirectly affected should be surveyed.
A communications agency will assist you in managing the crisis response as well as communications to target audiences in the post-crisis period if need be.
In crisis management, prevention and observation are always the order of the day.