Society currently finds itself gripped by the COVID-19 global crisis. Many businesses found themselves forced to close their doors by order of their local government, or having to enact changes within their business to keep afloat. The fact of the matter is that no single individual can foresee a crisis, but that individual can certainly be prepared for one. Emergency Planning is a critical component of the viability of a business, but for the most part, it is overlooked until a real emergency occurs. Here are some tips extracted from various crises over the last 20 years.
No technology is too intimidating if it may save your company a potential liability
Much has changed in regards to healthcare confidentiality and the portability of medical information. It became in the best interest of a healthcare organization to heavily document every action taken on behalf of a patient, and store said documentation for a number of years. Even the smallest practice can have a large volume of patients which translates to a massive collection of physical charts that need to be catalogued and stored. This requires time, capital, and willingness to incur a new liability (theft, fire, flooding damage, etc). Converting all your important documents to an electronic format may be intimidating, but the level of efficiency and level of security are undeniable. Anytime a company encounters a liability, they should ask themselves, am I leveraging the technology available to me?
Modify how you deliver your services
The most apparent issue with the COVID-19 Crisis is the limiting of actual physical contact. If you were to drive down the main street of any community, all the restaurants would have banners advertising that they are still open for carryout and deliveries. These banners were not sitting in the storage room waiting for a global pandemic to occur. At some point leadership had to determine a way for their company to still provide services, and order the banners to be made. How could I still serve my customers and manage my employees in the event of a crisis?, is another question that needs to be answered when planning for emergencies. A great example would be the continuation of hiring processes. While it may be prudent to scale back hiring efforts, they should never be halted (the halting of hiring processes can cause worse problems than the crisis itself). It’s important that job boards are still monitored, applications are still reviewed, and candidates are still engaged, either through conducting interviews via phone or AV conferencing. You never want to lose an opportunity to acquire high talent.
Practice, simulate, and inform
This is a very military concept; the results of an emergency planning process need to be tested and disseminated to all applicable members of the organization. An emergency plan is not viable if you are not completely sure that it works or if key individuals cannot take control of the situation without hesitation. An overview of the plan must be established, all necessary equipment and technology must be regularly inspected, and everyone involved must receive the training on a regular basis.
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Michael Chiovitti, Chief Talent Strategist
Eden Resources, LLC