Business doesn’t always go to plan. There are times when you might have a crisis on your hands. This can be from a shortage of particular resources, like when KFC ran out of chicken (yep, it really happened), or from blunders due to poor staff performance, such as the horrifying “would you rather” third-party advert on SnapChat that cost the company over $800 million in value. Whatever the cause of the crisis, you need to have a system in place that can help you recover.
This is where a good digital workplace can help you. It can be set up so there is a crisis management process embedded within the system, with several features included that will help you navigate the challenges that come with a crisis, then resolve them quickly and limit damage to the organisation.
So, what can you do with a digital workplace to help you manage a crisis in your business? Here are some hints:
1. Set up strong communications
The first thing that can be done is for your crisis management team to be given a secure way to communicate with each other. This speeds up decision making as messages can be given a priority and important emails aren’t lost in inboxes.
Communications are vital for crisis management. It isn’t just internal messages that matter either. You need to communicate to the wider world. Yet messages need to be approved, normally by two or three different people. Audiences, like customers, investors and other stakeholders are impatient, especially with today’s social media technology.
By having strong internal communications that are processed through a digital workplace, you can match expectations of audiences and keep the momentum going on any crisis that might come up.
2. Have a set of processes that can be instantly looked at
The next most important part of crisis management is to be sure that you are following the right processes from start to finish. While every crisis is different, there are going to be significant similarities in the way your deal with them. If you have these written down in a single document or policy, you lessen the chance that staff get confused and go off on their own trying to rectify the issue.
Document your crisis management procedures in a single policy
A set of processes can also be made on a task list, with who is responsible for what work. When that work is completed, it can be ticked off and reviewed by other members of the crisis management team. This then ensures that all elements of the crisis management protocols are working.
This can also help those in senior management, like the CEO, who might not be part of the official response for the crisis but want to be kept in the loop about what is going on.
3. Distribute training to affected staff
Sometimes a crisis means that there is training that needs to be done in order to prevent it from happening again or to teach staff how to handle it effectively should it affect their work. Sending out an email about the changes is one way of dealing with the process. However, it isn’t very effective. You don’t know who has read that email properly and who will remember that information.
E-learning software, on the other hand, can be implemented so that a small course on new policies or how to react to the crisis, can be created. This can be distributed to the relevant members of staff, for them to take and results sent to management. It also allows senior leadership to know who is actually doing the work and who is not.
Create e-learning courses on crisis management to ensure staff know what to do
4. Manage the crisis from anywhere, even on the move
One of the most vital aspects of crisis management is the ability to manage it on the move. Many people in the crisis management team might be remote workers or travel between offices or locations. These people still need to complete tasks, wherever they are.
That is why it is important that you ensure you have a way for those members of the team to communicate with each other regardless of their location. This is where mobile-ready intranet software can be really handy. All your staff members need to do is to log into the intranet from anywhere that has Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection.
Staff can crisis-manage on the go with a mobile intranet
There they can see the latest messages, tasks that have been completed, those that need to be done and new information they’ve missed. They should also be able to communicate with others instantly, giving feedback on work that has been completed.
A unified approach
The best part of the digital workplace is that it allows teams in a crisis to pull together and work towards a similar goal. This helps to reduce wasted productivity, improve communications internally and externally, and finally, improves the way the company appears when it is under significant scrutiny.
A team that is aligned will help your business to not just weather a crisis, but to make it thrive afterwards. To help them, ensure they have the right tools for the job.