Navigating crisis management during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was not long ago that COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). While the assessment of our pandemic preparedness as a society will be the subject of considerable future scrutiny, the likely duration of the crisis still allows individuals and organizations
to implement some basic crisis management best practices. As the coronavirus crisis unfolds globally, organizations across the world are now testing their crisis management readiness.
How can businesses deliver better outcomes in times of a prolonged crisis?
Preparedness and Scenario Planning
The COVID-19 crisis will likely eat up the whole of 2020 and beyond. While we may be comforted that it will have an epidemiological end, its impact on your organization may be different at various points in time. In this early stage, many of us have been consumed with mobilizing our business to run in drastically altered operating conditions or on entirely new platforms. In most cases, the effects of COVID-19 will potentially severely impact revenues, distract and demoralize workforces, fundamentally altering how products and services are delivered.
Communicate – promptly, clearly and transparently
The best lines of communication are the most open ones. Clear, prompt and transparent communication is essential in all business scenarios. In crisis scenarios, it is even more so, especially if you need to secure ongoing support from customers, employees, suppliers, investors and regulatory authorities. Proactive communication and actions will help mitigate punitive damages, liabilities associated with disrupted customer obligations and damage to brand reputation. Whether the message is good or bad, transparency around the organization’s response is vital to maintaining your employees’ mental health and enhancing trust and confidence in the employee/employer relationship.
These messages will be different for different employers as some employees must continue to work, but frequent communications coming from managers who are highly visible is a critical step. Coupled with your internal communications strategy is also a strategy to address the concerns of customers, regulators, and other stakeholders.
Keeping those with whom you work aware of your current status as well as your contingency plans will enhance those relationships over the long term.
• Keep employees informed (with accurate and updated information).
• Evaluate remote work continuity and impact on business performance and results.
• Create an environment that fosters online collaboration.
• Define a central internal communication channel to create an environment that fosters online collaboration.
• Continue to access updates and self-isolation guidelines and stay in touch with your self-isolated employees.