When a company is facing a crisis, sometimes chaos can ensue. Adrenalin starts to pump and people start to panic. However, panicking will not help in a crisis situation. Instead, take a moment to breathe before planning a course of action. Preventative steps can be taken to help prepare for a possible crisis. This is done by ensuring systems are in place to help guide your reaction and ensure the crisis is dealt with in the best way possible. Develop a pre-crisis plan so that you have protocol to follow in case a crisis ever does arise. Be Prepared!

  1. Your office culture can actually help prevent a crisis from occurring! If your company encourages open communication and promotes trusting relationships between employees, it’s more likely that concerns and problems that could lead to a crisis will be brought up and addressed.
  1. Have a system in place that will ensure employees are working in line with the company’s mission, values and ethics. If something were to go wrong due to an employee not following these guidelines, it would make the crisis more difficult to address.
  1. Draft a crisis plan of internal and external communications so that employees have protocol to follow in the case of a crisis. It’s important that everybody responds in a consistent manner so that the company is not sending out conflicting messages.
  1. Ensuring your company has a high level of involvement with corporate social responsibility will improve your situation when dealing with a crisis. Consumers are more forgiving of companies that have strong ties with the community.
  1. Ensure that your company has a strong presence on social media. High levels of engagement will only encourage your followers to grow. Having a large audience on social media is important when managing a crisis, as it is important to have an audience to communicate with.

Facing a Crisis? Remember don’t panic! Now that you’ve taken preventative measures, you will be in a better place to deal with and overcome a crisis. Here are 5 things to assume when facing a crisis.

  1. Assume the worst (without panicking). By assuming the worse you will be better prepared to deal with whatever is thrown your way. It’s better to be overly prepared than caught off guard.
  1. Assume that the news will get out, even for an internal crisis. The best thing that you can do is address the issue. Create a statement and break the news first, this will give you the control over how the story is told.
  1. Assume that your company will be portrayed in the worst light possible. It’s important to stay on top of communication until the situation passes. You want to be active online to address any questions or concerns brought up by the public so that things don’t spiral out of control. Follow your crisis plan so that reaction to the situation is dealt with in a prompt and consistent manner.
  1. Assume that you’ll have to make internal changes. Sometimes crises arise due to employee error. You may need to address an employee or an entire team of employees that haven’t been operating according to company standards.
  1. Be transparent and show what your company is doing to remedy the situation. When companies hide or don’t publicly respond to a crisis, people adopt a negative opinion of the situation very quickly.
  1. Assume that you will survive and your company will only become stronger. Time doesn’t stop. Address the issue at hand, keep your head up and continue moving forward.

So there you have it. Take preventative measures, assume the worst, and have open communication and transparency with the public when facing crises. Once the situation starts to calm down, evaluate why the crises happened. Appropriate changes will need to be made to prevent the same issue from arising again. As a result, your company will stronger and better prepared to deal with a similar situation in the future.

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