Caring for People When a Crisis Strikes

November 21, 2019

It’s in everyone’s interests for an organisation to recover from a crisis quickly and its people are at the heart of this. There’s no doubt that people are the greatest asset in any business and their safety and wellbeing should be placed at the heart of business continuity.

Recent ISO 22330 guidance states the importance of putting people first during a workplace crisis. It outlines how organisations can prepare for, and respond to, events that are disruptive, challenging or distressing for its people. 

People in an organisation can become negatively impacted by any kind of work-based crises, from fires and natural disasters to cyber attacks and acts of terror. The crisis can affect the whole organisation, a department or a team.

Regardless of the type of crisis, size of the issue, or number of people affected, there are still some basic principles in crisis management that can be applied.

Preparing your people for a crisis

The first step in caring for your people happens before a crisis even hits. This is all about creating awareness among your team, analysing their needs, and investing in learning and development.

Providing crisis management training for your team can help prepare them for a crisis. Proper training will put your team in a better position, making them more aware and knowledgeable about what could happen and how to react properly.

Help your people cope in the aftermath of a crisis

In the response phase, this is the time to deal with the immediate effects of a crisis. Crisis simulations and training exercises done as part of crisis management training, mentioned above, can help to get through this phase more safely and effectively.

Accounting for people, proper communication and resolving travel issues can be addressed in this phase. 

Managing your people as you recover from a crisis

This stage consists of managing people and assisting in crisis response as you try and rebuild. It includes ongoing support for employees with lasting injuries, including offering counseling for people who have suffered psychological trauma. Counselling can help ease distress, prevent psychological burnout, and reduce sick leave.

If an employee has suffered a physical or psychological injury then you need to ensure that treatment provided by the organisation is safe, effective and appropriate. 

Support your people as you get back to business as normal

Many businesses focus on the immediate response phase but there’s a need for good communication and support throughout all phases following a crisis. The type of communication needed will change over time but it’s important to keep your people informed and make them feel listened to.

It’s important to manage your people well as this can improve productivity, motivation, attendance and retention – ultimately impacting your bottom line. 

If your company is after more in-depth crisis management training, take a look at our range of crisis management training courses and get in touch with our team for more information or to book a place.


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