There are few things more stressful than tackling a crisis situation unprepared. Nothing causes a blood pressure spike quite like a social media issue going viral or the local TV station calling for “your response” on an employee’s blunder.
Crime situation? Alleged product tampering? Food-borne illness? Employee outburst caught on video? What about a poor sanitation rating or recordable safety violation?
If there are people involved, human error will happen. Your solution? Be proactive and take a cue from your local meteorologist: practice the art of forecasting and hone your skills in identifying, discussing, and solving issues BEFORE they become full-blown crises. How?
- Does your company have a crisis/issues action plan? If the answer is no, get one. Don’t know where to start? Meet with your team leaders to discuss the top three to five recurring issues you face.
- Do you have a crisis team? Even if you don’t call them a “crisis team,” who in your company is consistently involved when a crisis or issue hits? Hint: If it’s you alone, as the business owner, that needs to change. And fast.
- Does everyone on the team share your company’s mission, values, and messaging? This question might seem out of place compared to the first two, but it’s essential that your employees not only share consistent messaging but live and breathe your core values. And it must start on the front lines – who’s answering your phones?
If you’re 0 for 3, don’t be discouraged – get empowered. We’ve put together a Crisis Management 101 guide that highlights 5 steps you can take now to cut issues off at the knees before they turn into a crisis.