Well-prepared crisis management is the basis for successfully navigating a company through a crisis. Find our 10 tips for successful crisis management here.
1. Assembling an experienced crisis management team
The crisis management team should have a clearly communicated structure in which the senior management of the company or organisation is involved. The leader should be a recognised internal or external crisis manager, who determines which persons are to be involved in the handling of crisis-related activities (e.g. distribution of protective masks).
2. Disciplined communication on a regularly basis
Crisis communication should be concise, understandable and take place every day at fixed times by e-mail and, if necessary, by telephone. During the crisis, a central communication office should be set up that can be reached around the clock by telephone and e-mail.
3. Maximum transparency about the measures taken
Employees and customers should always be informed, and financial and human efforts should be made to contain the crisis.
4. Substitution arrangements for each employee
Since every employee can become ill, it is necessary to define substitutions. However, no reciprocal substitution cycles may be created if the persons are physically in contact with each other (e.g. A substitutes B, B substitutes A). These rules also apply to the management of the company.
5. Call in experts
In order to prepare important decisions, the company should have access to consult internal and external experts from the respective fields (e.g. medical doctors, cyber security specialists, security experts) or obtain a second opinion from them.
6. Secure teleworking - with family and neighbourly support for emergencies
Employees whose physical presence in the company is not necessary should work at home. In this context, there a protocol for regular check-ins with the employees to check their well-being. Furthermore, it is essential to encourage every colleague working in the home office to plan for a possible illness and to consider the necessary family or neighbourly help.
7. Ongoing coaching of the crisis team
Both the crisis management team and the auxiliary staff deployed in the crisis need regular coaching by internal or external persons not involved in the crisis management to support their mental fitness. For employees working in a home office, managers and direct work colleagues should take over this task.
8. Properly functioning IT systems
The availability of IT systems should be monitored on an on-going basis and backups of important systems should be stored securely. A great deal of attention should be paid to the health of IT staff and to transport facilities for employees who have to carry out activities on site.
9. Prevention and fight against cyber attacks
In order to prevent cyber attacks, it is necessary to install malware scanners on all devices and to constantly check the company's servers and firewalls. Employees should also be regularly informed about their responsibilities and current threats.
10. Prevention of critical bottlenecks (food, cash, medicines, energy)
It is important to rethink measures against bottlenecks and shortages of food, drinking water, cash and medicines at an early stage, and also to provide for procedures to be able to work temporarily in case of power cuts.
For organisations of all sizes Grant Thornton Austria offers a comprehensive and field-tested guide to successful crisis management and takes on tasks such as the revision of contingency plans, the ongoing review of the measures taken and computer security during this time of crisis. Our experts Cornelius Granig and Martin Schmidt are at your disposal for any questions you may have.