How to handle an office crisis
If you’re running a business or working as a leader within your company, you know how everyday operations are meant to play out. You’re familiar with best interview and hiring practices, know what it takes to close deals with stakeholders and are even familiar with the best way to ensure employees can sign up for healthcare. But the thing is, regardless of how many policies you have in place, there will come a time when you face something you weren’t prepared for.
Crisis management isn’t about anticipating every single thing that can go wrong at your business – that’s impossible. It’s about dealing with crises in a way that allow your company to move forward, even after something’s gone wrong. Here’s how you can develop a crisis management plan that can be adapted to address nearly any situation.
Assess the emergency
The first thing you need to do, during any workplace emergency, is make sure everyone is safe. In an immediate sense, this includes doing things like evacuating the building if a fire has occurred, removing an employee from a situation if there’s been an escalated complaint filed about them and generally making sure everyone is physically safe.
Once everyone is moved to a safe location, you need to think about what your team needs on a mental and emotional level. Will this crisis impact how your team is able to do their jobs? Does the company need to shut down for a few days while people assess the situation? Do you need to bring therapists on-site to help your employees deal with what happened? Depending on the scale of the emergency, these are all things to consider.
Remain a leader
When a crisis occurs, it’s easy to get caught up in the panic of the situation. While you could let someone else take charge, it’s your duty as a leader to remain calm and maintain your position of authority. There are many different types of leaders, but all of them need to be able to shepherd their team through a crisis. Take a breath and stay composed – your team needs you.
Be there for your team
A quality crisis communication plan ensures that you’re there for the people who are most important to your brand – your employees. Check in with your team to see what it is they need most from you. It’s vital that you don’t just see your team as employees – these are people who are dedicating the majority of their time to make sure your vision is a success, so treat them accordingly. You can offer your personal support, as a friend and leader, and also work with human resources to compile a list of external support alternatives.
You’ve made sure everyone feels safe, accounted for and heard. How will you prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future? As a leader, it’s your duty to find a productive way to move forward. Additionally, if the crisis was something that could have been prevented, you need to develop a plan that ensures this same incident never happens again.
Create an infallible crisis management plan
Tony Robbins’ complimentary Seven Forces content series uncovers the tactics necessary to make your business adaptable to any crisis situation.