A crisis is a situation where an organization deals with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm its stakeholders. Crisis management is a very vital part of the growth and wellbeing of an organization. The steps revolve around prediction, forecasting, and effective planning in case of a crisis. Top managers always plan to make sure they have an effective crisis management strategy in case a problem occurs in their company. So, how can you ensure effective crisis management in your organization? This article focuses on the top 8 crisis management strategies used by top managers.
1. Setting Clear Objectives
Top managers set clear and detailed objectives that relate to the crisis. To do so, they gather all the details of parties, people, customers, suppliers, employers, and stakeholders that may be affected by a crisis. After that, they lay out a plan for covering up for the losses that might affect each of these parties. The affected parties are always kept in the loop. With all the practical objectives in mind, top managers set up a detailed written form plan then back it up with legal actions and relevant documentation.
All action taken relating to each area of the business is accurately detailed out in this plan. The plan is then issued to everyone connected and concerned in the company. The goal is adjusted and updated as per the business objectives. Legal and financial experts’ presence and their role are always included when writing out a crisis management plan.
Predicting a crisis isn’t easy, especially when a company has always had a smooth flow. This often lure companies not to set strategies, which has diverse consequences at the time of crisis. Therefore, top managers develop and adjust their objectives consistently to manage any problem in their company. The goals help the managers to identify threats likely to occur as they plan and game out the tasks, communications, and information they will need to deal with those threats. Planning yields better outcomes, including excellent financial outcomes.
2. Building A Committed Team
A team dedicated to finding and dealing with crisis management strategy is the first step towards any organization’s success. The top manager’s team consists of executives whose sole responsibility is to work on crisis management. The team foretells and discusses the type of crisis that may befall the company. They predict, plan, and take necessary actions towards crisis management. Top managers are always careful about this team. The team is usually headed by the CEO, who is advised by the senior member of the public relations department and its senior legal executives.
Moreover, top managers include crisis management specialists on their team. The specialist offers training to the team members on the techniques to manage the crisis. They discuss, update, and review any possible problem concerning the business and the means of handling it. They perform the reviews weekly.
Top managers ensure they have a crisis management team, whose sole purpose is to manage events and ensure appropriate actions are carried out. They prepare a crisis management plan for several emergency action situations. The crisis management team’s planning ahead of time and effort during an emergency help top managers through a tough time.
3. Ensure Consistent Communication
Top managers ensure an open and well-established communication network. They communicate all the potential risks and crises concerned with their employees, the public, customers, and legal parties. Top managers, therefore, appoint a well-informed and trained crisis spokesperson who acts as the voice of the company. He/she involves the media and the general public with all the questions and apprehensions. Additionally, top managers involve the press if the crisis will impact the people and the customers.
Top managers are always honest and transparent. If a crisis has been undone, they avoid negative publicity by being open about the state of affairs. A problem is handled delicately and with a positive vibe. The workforce is always updated with the latest ongoings, especially in times of crisis. The awareness prevents uproar among employees and ill-will as they will feel that they are essential and part of the company. Top managers update all the concerned parties early and periodically about every small improvement in crisis management strategies. Additionally, they always have summary statements ready accordingly.
The legal spokesperson and the appointed spokesperson are kept on the same page. Hence, they deliver excellent and honest statements without giving away too much. Top managers, therefore, ensure effective communication in their firm. Excellent communication is the foundation for effective crisis management. It provides clarity and direction for customers, employees, and partners in an otherwise uncertain and confusing time.
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4. Anticipating of a Crisis
Anticipation involves identifying areas where crisis can occur. It also involves knowing every step or missteps that may result in a crisis. Top managers think of the consequences of each step they take. The technical, legal, financial, or slightest data may be the source of a problem. Accusations, lousy publicity, and any other negative behavior took lightly may be the building block of the crisis. Cybersecurity, which involves security breaches, leaks, and hacks, may start the blaze of a problem.
Top managers always have a dedicated IT department. They have an updated IT and network security to keep all their confidential information and business exchange safe. A crisis not handled gracefully can cause decades of hard work and ruin a company’s right name, market value, and brand value.
A company that emerges victorious from a crisis raises its respect and value. The success shows that the company has the necessary operations and processes for dealing with unpleasant situations. Top managers anticipate a problem, which helps them realize the preventable situation by modifying existing operation methods. They begin to think of possible responses, about the best case and worst-case scenario and develop a crisis management strategy.
5. Resilience and Accepting Vulnerability
Resilience is the proficiency to recover quickly from difficulty. Vulnerability is the degree to which a person may react adversely during the occurrence of a hazardous event. Top managers are agile and resilient. They make difficult decisions on crisis management strategy with limited information. They are always prepared to lead through the outcomes that arise based on these quick decisions. Having the confidence to lead the team and company is the crucial step towards crisis management.
Top managers practice resilience by having a good working memory. Excellent memory enables them to focus on a crisis management strategy and plan effectively to manage it. They moreover nurture supportive relationships with their employees, staff, customers, and stakeholders. The right relationship among staff effectively identifies areas that need more effort, thus discuss strategies to manage the crisis. Good relationship in an organization creates unity and teamwork among the team and hence faster decision making. Top managers embrace vulnerability, as they recognize that not all decisions lead to desired outcomes. Exposure helps them prepare for the worst and hence put in all the measures in case of a misfortune. Preparation for trouble is essential as it prevents the top managers from shock when they occur. Top managers employ resilience and vulnerability to manage a crisis in their company. With the relevant and up to date information about a problem, they react accordingly. Vulnerability and resilience keep panic and rushed decisions to a minimum, which improves crisis response.
6. Establishing Preventive Measures
Prevention is better than cure. Top managers predict the kind of crisis the company may face from the objectives it had set. To prevent the problem, they lay out their work and ensure deadlines, legal matters, and finances are kept in line and up to date. They discuss an identity crisis with their team that can be avoided by simply changing the existing operations and methodologies.
Top managers evaluate their company’s philosophies, policies, and strategies. They inform their stakeholders whenever there is a danger of a missing deadline. They further use techniques to appease the concerned parties and have genuine reasons for hiccups. In most cases, a crisis arises due to ignorance of small and vital issues. Top managers always avoid this and take care of all the problems in the company. They keep the HR up to date and well trained.
Additionally, they have a dedicated team that lookout for a crisis. The PR team is always on top of their game since any slight misstep in trouble and time may lead to unimaginable disasters. Top managers believe that it is easier to prevent a crisis from happening than to solve the situation after it has happened. Therefore, they research any possible problem likely to occur and involve all the relevant parties in deciding the strategy to take to prevent it. They ensure the team updates the objectives set periodically to fit the situation. Proper management keeps them confident since the crisis occurs when they are equipped with all the steps in managing it.
7. Assigning Crisis Management Tasks Appropriately
Top managers are always keen when assigning tasks to their team members. A slight mistake when doing this may hugely affect the business. They ensure each member is given an assignment according to his/her ability to handle it. They make sure the organization is working ethically and compassionately to prevent any errors from happening.
The top managers provide leadership when they set a course of action. They clear any high-level obstacles that the crisis team may face, such as needing more resources. They communicate with key stakeholders and evaluate contingency plans. Moreover, they monitor and analyze the development of high-level implications and protect the organization’s reputation.
Top managers limit financial damage and generate extraordinary cash needed to set the crisis management strategies. Stakeholders play a vital role in crisis management; hence, top managers take care of them to succeed and assign tasks appropriately to ensure the crisis is handled effectively.
8. Appreciating and Recognizing Workers
The staff took all the necessary actions and went the extra mile to ensure an organization’s success during a crisis. Their efforts, therefore, need to be appreciated. Top managers always recognize the efforts of each member that participated, whether minor or major. Rewards motivate the team members to work harder in the next crisis management process. They thank the team members by giving each member a gift according to the work he/she did in the crisis management process. The top managers further offer the team members a unique retreat. During the retreat, they delegate more duties to the members and offer promotions to the members who deserve it. They then perform a strategic review and consider the method they used to predict the crisis and the steps they missed or ignored. They further check the effectiveness of the crisis management plan, what went well, and the areas that need improvement. Every member is allowed to offer their views on the crisis management plan set, and each review is taken into consideration.
Top managers reward and recognize their team members as this motivates them to work harder, and as a result, the company’s crisis management level increases. The rewards also let the employees know they are doing a great job, improves staff morale, enhances the staff members’ loyalty, and contribute to a supportive work environment. This is because crisis management is a very delicate area and requires excellent knowledge to successfully manage it. Each member has to be confident and knowledgeable about the area assigned. The appropriate designation makes the crisis management process more manageable and reliable.
Creating a crisis management plan is essential for every manager. However, you must also have an action plan that defines what will happen and what must be done when a crisis occurs. In order for a business to thrive and become profitable, top managers need to prepare adequately for any crisis that may occur. This is interns of planning and acquiring the necessary resources for tackling crisis situations. Besides, they should have their staff trained to handle crisis situations. As a manager, it is important to ensure that your crisis management plan is accurate and up to date. Be prepared every time, review your business operations regularly and ensure constant vigilance. With all these steps in mind, your business will survive any crisis in the future.