Organizations, like anyone else, are also vulnerable to crisis. However, what distinguishes great leadership from an ordinary one is how the organizational leader deals with crisis situation.
Though planning phase seeks to minimize the risk of any crisis rearing its head, crisis are but inevitable and almost every organization finds itself facing a crisis at one or another stage of its operation.
Let’s take a look into how organizations can deal with crisis through an effective crisis management system.
· Anticipate Crisis
Organizations with proactive management style are able to anticipate looming crisis and prepare well in advance to counter it or at least in curtailing the fallout. Therefore, adopt a proactive approach towards crisis management.
· Evolve a Plan
Once the inevitable has happened and the crisis has struck it is time to evolve a plan to curtail the fallout, retain your goodwill, keep your stakeholders trust intact and keep the business going.
The factors to consider while evolving a plan to counter crisis is to identify objectives the plan will look to achieve. However, the objectives and the result that the plan seeks to achieve should be in clear and tangible terms.
· Retain Goodwill, Trust and Integrity
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of being hit with a crisis is losing the trust that your stakeholders place on you. The same stands true for your good will as it is bound to suffer as a result of the crisis.
The first thing to know is that while it takes years to build reputation is takes mere hours to tarnish it. Therefore, the first thing to look into is to minimize the damage that the crisis is likely to inflict on your good will/ reputation and guard your integrity at all costs.
· Identify and Train Crisis Communication Team/Spokesperson
The crisis will not go unnoticed by any section of the society. Therefore, you will have to appoint a spokesperson who will be your official spokesperson during the process. In the past organizations have made the mistake of trying to hide facts and paint a rosy picture though everyone out there knew that this was certainly not the case.
However, they soon realized that it did more harm than good for the organization as the stakeholders felt that they were being lied to. Therefore, speak the truth to gain respect and even support during the crisis period.
· Identify Stake Holders and Issue Holding Statements
Stake holders are the people who have direct stakes in your organization. These people can be any one your suppliers, your partners, your creditors, your customers etc. Once you identify your stakeholders issue a holding statement to help restore confidence and assure that every possible step is being taken to return situation to the normal and keep their interests intact.
· Keep Employees Informed
Do not alienate your employees in the process as your employees are your greatest stakeholders. Do not let the crisis have an adverse impact on their moral and do everything in your power to boost their moral during this critical phase. Keep them well-informed, positive and motivated during the phase.
· Inform Suppliers, Creditors and Customers
Your suppliers, creditors and customers are your stakeholders and you cannot afford to lose their trust. Therefore, stay in touch with them on a regular basis and inform them of all what you are doing to restore the situation.
· Update Early and Consistently
Updating is not a onetime process rather something which should be carried out on a consistent basis to keep moral high, confidence restored and good will intact.