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Crisis Management

Examples Of Crisis Management

04 December 2021
Examples Of Crisis Management

Businesses and organizations of all sizes can be affected by crises. Either they affect the business directly, such as a natural disaster or product recall, or they emerge from environmental and social issues that affect society more broadly, like protests over an oil pipeline in North America.

A crisis is a set of conditions that place pressure on managers to address unanticipated questions and events that could have negative impact on their operations. These include financial losses, compromised operations, damaged equipment, lost talent and reputational damage. Crisis management planning helps an organization anticipate these challenges and develop processes for addressing them effectively.

Summary

• Learn from the ways other companies have dealt with crises
• Increase your company’s reputation post-crisis
• Save money and time if a crisis ever should occur

Unfortunately, many companies do not consider this until after the fact — when they launch a review to understand how they handled a specific incident — or worse: They do not develop a crisis management plan at all.

A crisis is an incident that has the potential to endanger your project. This includes environmental and social incidents, such as natural disasters or political protests; supply chain disruptions; loss of key talent; reputational damage (e.g., client complaints); terrorist attacks; outbreaks of diseases or viruses; product recalls; fatalities or serious injury onsite due to equipment failure; chemical spills affecting nearby communities; construction accidents involving third party contractors; disruptions in utilities (water, power, telecommunications) and transportation networks; financial crises that affect critical resources (e.g., capital markets shutting down); or cyberattacks that shut down systems or release sensitive information.

Crises generally have three phases: activation, management and recovery.

Activation starts the process of getting up to speed on what is happening, confirming how it affects your operation and mobilizing resources to address impacts.

Management involves tracking developments, initiating communications with stakeholders including employees, customers, investors and suppliers; assessing capacity for containment or mitigation; preparing sites or businesses for adverse conditions (e.g., opening an evacuation center); securing equipment or sensitive information; arranging support from local authorities (e.g., police protection during a demonstration) or external sources (e.g., insurance policies covering damage from rioting mobs). It may also entail stepping up security measures at key sites where relevant facilities are concentrated, such as laboratories containing contagious organisms in biotechnology companies or oil wells located in politically unstable areas.

Recovery starts when the crisis is brought under control and ends when the business or organization has returned to normal operations.

A guide to crisis management

The goal of crisis management is to minimize the negative impacts of an incident on your project so that you can resume normal operations as quickly as possible. This involves three key activities:

  • Containment: Preventing a situation from becoming worse by taking appropriate steps to protect people, property and the environment.

  • Mitigation: Reducing the consequences of an incident by limiting damage, repairing any damage that has occurred and implementing measures to prevent future incidents.

  • Restoration: Returning the impacted area to its pre-crisis state as closely as possible.

In order for an organization to effectively manage a crisis, it is important to have a crisis management plan in place. This document should outline the organization’s response procedures for different types of crises, as well as the roles and responsibilities of key personnel. The crisis management team should also practice responding to simulated crises so that they are prepared to act quickly and effectively when an incident occurs.

There are many things that businesses can do to prepare for a crisis, including:

1. Identifying potential threats or vulnerabilities that may have emerged.

2. Developing a crisis management plan. The crisis management plan should outline the organization’s response procedures for different types of crises, as well as the roles and responsibilities of key personnel. The crisis management team should also practice responding to simulated crises so that they are prepared to act quickly and effectively when an incident occurs.

3. Training employees on how to respond to a crisis and empowering them to take appropriate steps when a situation arises.

4. Being aware of local, national and global events that may affect the organization or its stakeholders (e.g., political unrest or natural disasters) and planning how these events could impact your business operations.

5. Ensuring that IT systems can be shut down in an orderly manner in the event of a crisis so that sensitive data is not compromised. It may also be necessary to move equipment into secure locations where it will not be accessible by unauthorized personnel during a crisis.

6. Implementing effective security measures for protecting company property, including where possible storing sensitive documents away from office areas where they are less likely to be accessed during a disruption event (e.g., locked in a drawer at the home office).

7. Ensuring that physical and IT security measures are in place so that sensitive company data and equipment cannot be accessed by unauthorized personnel during a crisis (e.g., locking server cabinets or filing cabinets if they contain important documents).

8. Keeping hard hats, safety glasses and other necessary tools on hand to ensure personnel can safely carry out their duties during an incident (e.g., repairing damaged property).

9. Developing procedures for how people will communicate with one another about an incident, including details about how different types of stakeholders will be contacted (e.g., employees, clients, executives or suppliers) and which communication channels will be used to reach them (e.g., email, text message, social media).

10. Preparing an emergency communications plan that will be activated in the event that the organization’s normal communication channels are not available (e.g., a power outage or telecommunications failure).

11. Securing physical evidence such as documents, computer hard drives and other items that could be used in legal proceedings following a crisis. It may also be necessary to take steps to protect electronic data from unauthorized access or theft, such as by password-protecting files or encrypting sensitive information.

12. Planning for the safe evacuation of personnel in the event of a crisis (e.g., fire, toxic fumes).

13. Developing procedures for shutting down IT systems, moving equipment to secure locations and protecting sensitive data in the event of a crisis (e.g., backup copies of files, offsite storage).

14. Arranging insurance coverage that will protect your business against potential losses caused by a crisis (e.g., property damage, business interruption).

15. Reviewing the crisis management plan on a regular basis and updating it as necessary to reflect changes in the organization or the environment.

Developing a comprehensive crisis management plan is an important step for any business, but it is not a task that should be completed once and then forgotten. The plan should be reviewed regularly and updated as needed to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. By taking these steps, businesses can reduce the risk of experiencing negative consequences following a crisis, while also ensuring that they are prepared to deal with it quickly and effectively.

1. Identify potential crises.

2. Develop a crisis management plan. The plan should include the following:

3. Keep employees informed about the company’s crisis management plan by providing regular training on how to respond in an emergency situation, empowering them to take appropriate action when necessary.

4. Take steps to protect sensitive data by backing up files regularly, encrypting certain types of information (e.g., trade secrets) and keeping backup copies off premises if possible.

5. Establish procedures for shutting down IT systems in an orderly manner without causing damage or leaving equipment inaccessible during a disruption event (e.g., a power outage or fire).

6. Store important documents in a safe place where they can be accessed easily in the event of a crisis (e.g., off-site storage). It may also be i

7. Ensure that physical and IT security measures are in place so that sensitive company data and equipment cannot be accessed by unauthorized personnel during a crisis (e.g., locking server cabinets or filing cabinets if they contain important documents).

8. Keeping hard hats, safety glasses and other necessary tools on hand to ensure personnel can safely carry out their duties during an incident (e.g., repairing damaged property).

9. Developing procedures for how people will communicate with one another about an incident, including details about how different

The examples of crisis management given above are just a few of the many steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from potential negative consequences. By being proactive and putting a comprehensive crisis management plan in place, businesses can reduce the risk of experiencing any significant damage following a crisis. However, it is important to remember that no plan is perfect and incidents can still happen. Therefore, it is also essential to have a response plan ready to implement in case of an emergency. This should include clear instructions for how employees should respond and what actions need to be taken to mitigate the damage caused by the crisis. By taking these precautions, businesses can minimize the negative impact a crisis can have on their operations.

Questions

1. What are some examples of crisis management in the public industry?
2. How do you maintain transparency when you're in the middle of a crisis? 
3. Have you ever handled a PR event in which one of your employees made controversial remarks online or offline, and how did it impact the company's reputation? 
4. Why is crises management important to businesses nowadays? 
5. How can you handle media inquiries after something bad has happened to your business (e.g., hack, job termination)?

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Meryem Winstead
Blogger

I graduated from Hacettepe University, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. I have Blogging and Human Resources Management certificates.

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