Was your business ready to face the Covid-19 pandemic crisis? Probably not, as this situation was unprecedented.
As the economy was paused for some time, many businesses had to shut down completely, while others had to quickly find a way to adapt by following instructions and information that were constantly changing and evolving.
Now that our country is reopening and that we are slowly trying to get the economy back on track, we can see how important it is to have a solid pandemic crisis action plan.
Your PR agency can help you create a great pandemic crisis communication plan. If you want to try to develop your own pandemic crisis action plan, here are a few tips you should keep in mind.
1. Start by reviewing your disaster recovery plan
If your business already has some sort of disaster recovery plan, you should start by reviewing it. The information and the processes it contains can help you create an appropriate pandemic crisis action plan.
Such a plan should list your most important assets, the maximum downtime acceptable for your operations, the data of your employees as well as their responsabilities, and the way you can respond to disruptions and failures.
All of this information should be a part of your pandemic action plan as well.
2. Your employees are your most important assets
Your employees are your most important assets, and this is even more true during a pandemic. If your employees get sick, they will not be able to come to work and perform their duties for a few weeks, or perhaps even for a few months.
Even though you might be able to recognize that a few of your employees are more essential to your daily operations than others, you need to do what you can to keep all your employees safe and healthy.
3. Your plan should include preventative measures
That being said, you must detail some preventative measures in your pandemic crisis action plan. Think about hand washing stations, face masks, and plexiglass screens that protect both your employees and your customers.
Of course, it’s not enough to know that you need hand washing stations and face masks, and to decide how many you need. You also need the contact information of the suppliers who will be able to provide you with these essential items.
Your plan should also include training for your employees, so they can use their protective equipment adequately.
4. Active response measures should also be included in your plan
You need to plan for what you will do if some of your employees do get sick. Will you recommend quarantine if an employee shows symptoms? Will you send them to the hospital for testing?
Your active response measures should also include the details of how you will replace sick employees with healthy ones. For this to be possible, you should first ensure that each of your employees has received the training that will make it possible for them to perform a different set of duties if they need to.
5. Evaluate your business processes
Depending on how the situation evolves, you might need to pause some of your business processes, and to maintain only the essential ones. Take a moment to determine which of your operations are critical, and which ones can be adapted.
Can you operate will reduced staff? Will your employees be able to work from home? Can you cancel your upcoming business meetings and trips, and replace them with videoconferences?
6. You should have an active crisis management team
Depending on how many employees you have, it might not be possible, or not useful for all of them to be aware of your whole action plan. However, you should have an active crisis management team that will be able to implement your pandemic crisis action plan, to make decisions, and to communicate effectively with your employees.
The members of this crisis management team should be reliable and dedicated, as you will be counting on them if the worst should happen.
7. Keep an eye on accurate information
Just as you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, you shouldn’t share information that doesn’t come from a reliable source with your employees.
A member of your crisis management team should regularly review information from trusted sources such as the World Health Organization and your local authorities.
This accurate information can then be communicated to the rest of your team, and can be used to review your processes when necessary.
8. Make sure you keep your employees informed
Clear and effective information is important during a pandemic. You need to be able to inform your customers and your suppliers of any information they need to know. Additionally, you need to stay in touch with your employees, to keep them updated, and to reassure them if they are worried about losing their job.
With an adequate pandemic crisis action plan, your business and your employees will be ready to face any situation.