What you say and how you say it during a crisis might be the greatest determinant in whether your crisis will continue to escalate or will stabilize. Execution of your well-planned communication process will steer your crisis toward stabilization rather then continued escalation. The latter condition will cause all your subsequent crises.
The emergency response plan might be the one single thing you can do at your workplace to most dramatically improve the odds of survival during a disaster. Would you be able to guarantee that all people in your building can get out and be accounted for if you were required to evacuate your building for any number of emergency situations?
Communicable illness, infectious disease, is a growing risk to all Americans, not just in our workforce. Our history shows us that we can anticipate up to 40% of our workforce to be unavailable during a communicable illness outbreak. If this would be harmful to your business, you can either hope it doesn’t happen, or prepare in advance for how you’ll manage your business without 40% of your workforce.
It’s estimated that 65% of all organizations have experienced a Cyber Incident in 2016. The number of stolen records are approaching a trillion records. All experts agree that almost all companies have been hacked; being prepared is more important than believing you can stop it.
Two weeks ago, we discussed reducing the risk of workplace violence. One tool that is useful is the gathering of actionable open source intelligence. Open source intelligence is that which is available in the public domain. In today’s world, people are talking on social media.
Two million American workers are the victims of workplace violence annually and no one is immune. Data shows that you can expect up to 60% of your workforce to leave within eighteen months of an episode of workplace violence. Although violence can be completely random and extraordinarily hard to see coming or prevent, this is usually not the case. Almost always, there are warning signs preceding the event. Are you prepared to see them?
What threats to your business keep you up at night? What do you worry about? In analyzing the risks to your business perhaps this is a good first question. The task of preparedness might seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be with the right expertise.
You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Getting started is often the hardest part of a task viewed as monumental. To set a good course you have to know from where you’re starting. Firestorm has a business continuity assessment available to any member of the Baltimore City Chamber with our typical fee of $1,500 waved.
Through eleven years of service to the business community, consulting in crises of every kind, Firestorm has found the five most common business failures to be:
Failure to control critical supply chains.
Failure to train employees for both work and home.
Failure to identify and monitor for all threats.
Failure to conduct exercises and update your plan.
Failure to develop a crisis communications plan.
Please join me for a series of articles promoting the idea of improved preparedness in businesses. Topics to be covered will include: where to start, determining vulnerabilities, avoiding common failures, managing a crisis, workplace violence, and cyber breach, to name a few. A new topic will be presented every two weeks for ten to twelve editions. A guitar player always has a spare set of strings in the guitar case. If a string breaks and you don’t have a spare, you’re finished. The show is over. Why risk that when it’s inexpensive to not put yourself in that situation.