Any company can face a crisis at any time. Whether or not this crisis is actually a “serious” one in the eyes of an outsider, is irrelevant. That’s because anyone associated with your company can be heavily affected if a crisis were to occur. A lot of the time, it’s the employees who suffer the most.
Most companies, in order to prepare for a crisis, think a lot about the “what-ifs.” They try to imagine the worst possible scenario that could happen, and consider what it would be like. While this may be planning for a crisis in some way, it’s not really preventing any damage from being done, especially the impact it will have on your employees. Instead, companies need to focus on the aspects of their business that allow them to weather a crisis and pick up the pieces before things spiral out of contro.
So, how do you do that? Well, when you put the people first, everything else becomes a lot easier to work with.
Thinking About Your People
According to Bill Tibbo, the author of Leadership in the Eye of the Storm: Putting Your People First in a Crisis, all organizational leaders need to do in order to prepare for a crisis is ask themselves, “What do the employees need?” By redirecting attention to the people, companies can actually navigate their crisis management in a direction that will always save the company, no matter how bad the crisis.
Getting Back to Productivity Doesn’t Work in Just One Way
One of the most common ways companies get back up and running again after a crisis is by focusing on the damages after the fact, as opposed to being proactive beforehand. In this case, they neglected to focus on their people. While having a general crisis plan based off a regulated system of tasks and tools doesn’t hurt, it’s not really the best approach to take. According to Tibbo, if you do it this way, “You’re missing a crucial element.”
And, in case you’re not convinced yet, that crucial element is the people.
When your path to productivity comes from focusing on the people first and how they’ll be affected by a crisis, your company will be surprised at the results. Not only will you deal with future crises better, but you might even see less of them. Always, always have a plan for the people-your people-involved.
Establish a Comprehensive People-Plan
So, your company is now considering altering how you deal with a crises. Good, you’re off to the right start. But, the first thing you’ll have to do is come up with a comprehensive plan; one that of course, has your employees in the epicenter of this potential storm. Remember, your people help drive the entire company. As much as you try to fit a “clean-up” into a crisis plan, that plan won’t even follow through without the people behind it.
Catch our drift?
The focus of your crisis management plan should be on the recovery of each and every employee after the fact. And, those employees should actually contribute to designing this plan from the get go. This will be a plan that everyone is involved in. One that benefits the team, and makes sure no one is left out.
Tibbo said, “Tragedy is measured in human terms.” Even if a crisis at your company wouldn’t be a life or death situation, let your employees know that they’ll be okay and the company will be okay no matter what happens.