That could mean everything from knowing where the closest exits are in case of fire to understanding how to communicate with vendors and customers in case of an extended power outage or cyber-attack. Unfortunately, many organizations are under-equipped to share the information with the right people at the right time — a requirement to ensure seamless operations can continue even under duress.
In any given year, there are hundreds of workplace homicides, making workplace violence and active shooter situations a reality that must be addressed. With over 40% of small businesses failing to re-open after a weather-related or another major disaster, the evidence is clear that emergencies must be handled in a timely and proactive manner. Whether disasters are caused by human action or by nature, effective communication is cited by human resources professionals as being a critical part of disaster recovery.
Notes David Rusenko, CEO, and founder of Weebly, “It’s hard to figure out where to prioritize when your business is hit by a natural disaster. While you get organized and figure out a plan, it’s critical to communicate as quickly and transparently as possible with your existing customers and new customers who are searching for you online.”
Crisis communication can take many forms, including instant notifications triggered by operations, technology or human resources personnel. This communication lets employees know how to continue operations during an outage or how to signal that they are safe during an active shooter incident, just to list a couple of examples. Without a comprehensive communications platform in place, it can be much harder to ensure that everyone has made it to safety.
What would you do if your business closed tomorrow because of a natural disaster? Are you confident that each employee could restart their work from an alternate location? Would operations staff be able to relaunch critical business systems remotely or access customer data? Will your systems still operate, or would you need to make alternate arrangements? Who makes the arrangements? If you’re using an onsite email server for your business, it’s entirely possible that your business database, including employee names and phone numbers, email addresses and more, will be completely inaccessible. In the case of a devastating cyber-attack or other emergencies, you need a way to reach individuals with targeted messaging quickly.
Once you are assured that your employees are safe in the event of an emergency, have you considered how far-reaching the impact may be to your customers and vendors? Even a short delay of a few hours in production could easily throw deliveries off by a day or even more. Vendors must be notified not to deliver raw goods, while customers need to understand the nature of the delay and receive ongoing updates about order status. This type of outreach can make the difference between a successful restart to operations and a long-term downturn in sales due to customer abandonment and higher costs due to charges added by vendors for the inconvenience.
Timely and targeted communication is essential to keep your business operationally sound in the event of an emergency. Without it, your team may be left floundering, and your customers and vendors will lose trust in your ability to execute. See how you can protect your business and evaluate the true cost of waiting when you download our free resource: How Not Having an Emergency Notification Systems Hurts Business.
The truth of the matter is you won’t realize how much you need an emergency notification system until you do need one. We hear countless stories of organizations and groups wishing they had one in place before it was too late. A proactive response will always be your best response.Download The Article