In our latest blog series, we are highlighting a variety of things you perhaps didn’t realize your emergency notification system could do to support your organization’s readiness, response and resilience. Last time we covered Alert Escalations. This post’s topic: Self-registration.
Business continuity professionals know that an alerting system is only as good as the contact data it uses. If a message is sent to old contact numbers or out-of-date email addresses, the notification is ineffective, putting the organization’s resilience and its employees’ safety at risk.
Likewise, business continuity professionals know that coordinating with HR, department managers, or employees themselves, can be tedious, time-consuming and paperwork intensive. But waiting until a message is sent to discover that information is incorrect means you are too late. It’s a real catch-22.
Fortunately, some of today’s leading emergency notification providers offer a workaround – an automated alternative – to help combat the issue of out-of-date contact information. The workaround is most often a Self-Registration Portal. Self-registration allows users (i.e., your intended message recipients) to securely access a customized interface, and add, update or maintain their personal data.
Users are not only encouraged to supply their information when it changes, but also review on a regular basis so that it remains current at all times. A regular testing schedule for the notification service will reveal gaps in data, and serve as a reminder to everyone to log into the portal and make any needed modifications.
All information gathered through the portal, particularly personal cell phone numbers and email addresses, complements the emergency contact data you already have for each message recipient. You not only increase the odds of communicating with employees in an actual event (e.g., natural disaster, workplace violence), but also their families, should it become necessary.
With more robust self-registration interfaces, employees can also customize the types of informational alerts they wish to receive based on the groups to which they’re subscribing. For example, one may choose to receive all corporate communications regardless of the topic, while another may only want to receive alerts for actual emergencies.
There’s no doubt about it. Organizations using emergency notification technology are taking important steps to better communicate with employees, contractors and other stakeholders during critical events. But they can’t always do it alone. This is especially true of those running large, or global, enterprises with thousands of employees, and consequently, a frequently changing alert recipient database (or those allowing individuals to “opt in” to notifications).
Through self-registration, organizations and message recipients can ultimately share the responsibility (and the goal) of keeping alerting service data current. And, with the likelihood of messages being received and the appropriate safety and resiliency actions taken, both stand to reap the benefits as well.