To prepare to deal with the unexpected. That is what crisis management is all about. A well-planned and properly executed crisis management plan minimizes the negative consequences for an organisation in case of a crisis. How should a business act to achieve a satisfactory crisis management capability? What does effective crisis management consist of?
To deal with the unexpected in advance
Incidents and extraordinary events that can have a negative impact on daily operations are risks that all organisations need to manage. A crisis can occur rapidly or grow over time. No matter the reason or type of crisis, crisis management, makes it possible to be prepared and capable of handling an incident or extraordinary event, hence preventing it from developing into a deep crisis. To take the time as an organisation to prepare for the eventualities of an incident is beneficial on several levels. Partly, this helps reducing the risk of an incident or extraordinary event to actually develop into a crisis. As a result, any negative consequences can be dealt with more swiftly and efficiently. Furthermore, it strengthens the organisation’s overall ability to cooperate to resolve any crisis if it were to arise.
What are the components of crisis management?
In order to get through a crisis effectively, good preparedness and regular revisions of the working methods are needed. Below you will find the five main components of crisis management.
1. What is a Crisis to you?
In order to deal with a crisis, the crisis must firstly be identified. To be able to identify a crisis, your organisation must set a common definition for what is considered to be a crisis in your specific organisation. Therefore, an organisation-specific crisis framing is always the first step. What conditions must be met for one or more incidents to be perceived as a crisis? Having a consensus on the circumstances that signify a real crisis in the organisation also makes it easier to, in the event of a crisis, assess whether the situation is resolved or not.
2. What crisis management method should be used?
The second step in the crisis management process is to find the method that suits you best. This involves several directly linked tasks:
Identify the organisation’s key assets that need to be protected. These can for example be people safety, the brand value and operations in the core business.
Establish clear responsibilities for involved staff in the organisation.
Establish clear strategies to use as base depending on the type of incident and determine which of the strategies should apply to each type of incident
This enables the organisation to quickly make decisions and act on them, as well as adapt the actions in line with your key assets and current situation.
3. Practice your crisis management
The next move is the development of individuals and functions, based on realistic expectations. Test, practice and progress the crisis management method as well as the strategies that you apply. Set up an ongoing plan on how to learn, develop and perfect your newfound knowledge in crisis management.
4. Act in a critical situation
When the crisis hits, two of the most important actions are to actually start and end the crisis management work. First, to dare to alert and thus direct the attention of all involved parties to the crisis is crucial in order to be able to handle it in the best possible way and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. When the crisis has been handled, it is equally important to conclude that the unique situation is resolved and finalise the process by clearly defining the end and create guidelines for future actions. During the crisis itself, it is of utmost importance to follow the three points below. They may seem simple at the first glance but require great focus during the critical situation.
Establish, update and communicate a clear situational overview during the crisis.
Everyone involved should make clear decisions based on the chosen strategy, within their respective, predetermined responsibilities and mandates.
Communicate appropriately, clearly and credibly based on the decisions taken, the strategy chosen for this particular crisis and the core values of the business.
5. Evaluate and update
The last part of an organisation’s crisis management work is something that always should continue. The crisis management methods and strategies you use must be continuously evaluated and updated according to your specific conclusions and needs based on the experience you gather.
How does an organisation achieve good crisis management capabilites?
In order to achieve crisis management in harmony with the operations and objectives of the business, your organisation needs to work on the five points above. In addition, another important element is to see crisis management as an integral part of the business-critical operations and not as a separate or additional activity. This way, the organisation is well prepared to act in the event of a crisis.
Crisis management with SRS
Let your comprehensive security company guide you in your crisis management development. Since 2004, SRS has been delivering adopted and complete solutions, tailored to your organisational needs, so that you can focus on your core business. We know exactly what needs to be included in your company’s crisis management process to ensure that you can continue to operate undisturbed. Contact us and we will find the right crisis management method for you.