Although the full impact of COVID-19 is still being quantified, many organisations are being impacted by declining sales and reduced consumer demand, supply chain disruptions, and transport restrictions.
The issues will have a domino effect on global markets with the escalating risk likely to impact those not yet directly affected by COVID-19.
Companies need to consider the pandemic preparedness measures and be proactive and prepared. While developing a practical crisis management plan, it is imperative to focus on risk identification and organisational exposure; identifying critical dependencies; and how to develop pragmatic and effective crisis and resilience solutions.
The crisis management plan should strive to respond to fundamental questions such as those of what an organization value and want to protect, the high impact consequences am organization is worried about.
The crisis plan should also address what the organization needs to be able to function during disruption and if the organization’s crisis management plan and function fit-for-purpose to assure business viability.
Here are 5 practical tips that can help to build crisis management & resilience planning:
- Scenario planning. Organizations should plan for potential business disruptions caused by extensive employee absences, shutdowns of geographies, supply chain disruptions, etc. This includes crisis response playbooks to be activated based on certain events.
- Assemble a cross-function crisis response team. Set up an integrated and cross-functional crisis response team to get an organizational-wide understanding of the impact and to coordinate efforts. Create sub-teams to manage specific workstreams such as communications, legal, finance, or operations. The crisis team should operate within a clear mandate provided by executive management. It should have high levels of decision-making authority to allow for swift and effective action.
- Assess organizational exposure. If you have a large presence, extensive business travel to and from, or key dependencies in affected areas (e.g., supply, revenue generation, or outsourcing activities) you will need to take more decisive action. Conduct strategic business impact assessments to identify and map critical services and functions to operational dependencies including key systems, staff, third parties, and operational hubs.
- Prepare for a proportionate response. The current outbreak is a reminder that ensuring plans are up-to-date and fit-for-purpose is essential to organizational resilience. If not already included in your pandemic plans, determine meaningful organizational activation and deactivation triggers.
- Keep plans, policies, and procedures actively under review. Organizational preparedness is an iterative process. Plans, policies, and procedures should be adaptive and flexible to the emerging threat to ensure an organization remains prepared and protects its people, reputation, strategy, and bottom line. For more information on how to respond
The writer is a Communications and PR Specialist and serves as the Managing Director of Granity Public Relations (PR) Limited. Email [email protected]