How to prepare your operation for a crisis

disaster emergency plan

A crisis can strike at any time, even at the most organized operations. Dr. Matthew Seeger, professor and dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University in Detroit, offers some suggestions. 

What are some preemptive measures to take?

wash hands sign

Good crisis prevention is good management. Having good risk-education training campaigns, promoting hygiene among workers, and giving them the time, resources and permission to address risk issues is so important. You should also develop good relationships with suppliers, vendors and customers. These pre-event relationships and a strong reputation will be critical.

How would you advise employees to respond during a crisis that is being filmed?

cell phone video crowd

Social media and cellphones are a reality, and the crisis will be televised. The best advice is to assume you are being recorded and act accordingly. When a video of a worker doing something unsafe or inappropriate is posted, the most important thing is to take the issue seriously and respond very quickly. 

What should be the initial response in the immediate aftermath of a crisis?

crisis solution

The initial response should be quick, express concern and empathy, and indicate that the issue is being taken seriously. Often, we don’t have all the information at these early stages, so it’s important to not assume that you know what happened. Instead, it’s appropriate to say, “We are taking this seriously and we are investigating. This is what we know at this point.”

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