What is Crisis Management?

A crisis might happen as a result of an unforeseen incident or as an unanticipated consequence of an event that was previously deemed a potential concern. In either event, crises nearly always necessitate swift decisions to mitigate harm to the organisation.

Identifying a threat to an organisation and its stakeholders in order to respond effectively to the threat is the goal of crisis management.

How did Covid-19 change Crisis Management?

The COVID-19 epidemic has presented unprecedented hurdles to firms and boards of directors managing crises or cross-border issues and it has fundamentally changed how we think about crisis management in many ways.

While most senior managers and leaders may be experts at operating a company, few have made a career out of dealing with crises, and most would like to avoid the experience. A crisis or large public issue, on the other hand, might be one of the most difficult and crucial times in a manager's career.

Managing through COVID-19, on the other hand, has highlighted the relevance of many of the concepts that support excellent crisis planning and management in any situation. Preparedness, transparency, interaction with authorities, clear and timely information and proactivity are all important factors to consider.

Top 5 best practices in Crisis Management:-

  • Positive cultural environment - A positive corporate culture is one in which top management acknowledges and commits to the company's goals, in which individuals are encouraged to accept constructive criticism, and in which employees' interests are aligned with the company's.
    Employees are encouraged to bring risk forward, to raise their hands, and both policy and practise are set up in such a way that employees can do so.
  • Communication is paramount - By their very nature, communicators are usually unafraid to express their thoughts on what to say and why. Being so open and transparent in communications puts them at danger of divulging information that could lead to liability or future lawsuit. The lack of legal awareness among communication professionals is also a source of concern for the lawyers. Almost every lawyer stressed the importance of certainty before communicating anything; whilst more experienced communications professionals understand that in a crisis, choices must be made quickly based on what is known at the time. At all times communications in any organisation during a crisis need to be as clear as possible and mindful or the legalities that arise.
  • Making plans that work - Organisations who have a crisis plan in place should re-evaluate its effectiveness in light of what happened. With potential outbreaks of Covid-19, companies need to be wise to implement a formal plan for managing future COVID-19 outbreaks and vaccination programmes as part of their contingency planning for the following year, if they haven't already. This contains clear policies around quarantining employees and their detainment so individuals who may be affected are being notified; providing opportunities for testing; confirming whether or not reporting to the appropriate public health authorities is needed within different and documenting the procedures taken to create a record of how the organisation would manage vaccinated and non-vaccinated staff and consumers.

    Questions to think about might be:-
    How well did we prepare for a crisis? Was our disaster recovery strategy anywhere close to being adequate? How well did we protect our employees? Have both legal and communication concerns been addressed? What has to be changed?
  • Crisis training - While senior managers and leaders may be experts at running an organisation, few have based their careers on dealing with crises — and most would want to avoid it. A crisis or big public issue, on the other hand, might be one of the most difficult and important times in a professional manager's life. Crisis management is a type of specialised training for preventing disasters and resolving conflicts. You need to be prepared for every eventuality and understand how to handle and respond to them.
  • Having the right tools - The ability to get your message out determines how effective it is. Internal and external communication mechanisms should be considered and re-evaluated by all organisations. Companies should concentrate on making sure that the communication channels are user-friendly and relevant as part of this process including channels likely to be accessed by differing stakeholders, e.g., company website, Twitter, Instagram.

Always being ready..

Organisations must ensure that crisis response teams are already in place. This group of people serves as the core team in charge of crisis management, communication and recovery. Moreover, managers are learning new foundational approaches for engaging and interacting with their people.

A crisis management plan must be developed, practised, and updated to ensure that a company can respond to unforeseen crises. However, depending on the type of organisation, the nature of crisis management operations may differ.

Covid-19 has resulted in some significant advances in crisis management, and managers must ensure that the benefits of these innovations are not lost once the pandemic has passed. Now is the moment to start thinking about the future and preparing ready for the next crisis.


Nicola Charlesworth

Written by Nicola Charlesworth