The very nature of business can lead to situations involving crisis and unpleasant issues – be it bad press or a reputation hit. These types if crises, usually stemming from employment issues, have the potential to affect the way people look at an organization in the community and could possibly hit a company’s bottom line.

While often these challenging situations cannot be prevented, it’s important to prepare companies for these moments as best we can and recognize that they do happen. Having best practices and policies can be simple – but application can be difficult.

In a global survey of companies in 2021, more than 70 percent of respondents said their business was negatively impacted by a crisis and 20 percent said the crisis had a positive impact – those that emerged stronger had invested in building a foundation of resilience to address any type of crisis.

Prepping your organization for a crisis

In the event of an employment crisis, communication can become muddled in the chaos and can lead to a rush of misinformation. Companies want to ensure that they have an opportunity to review all the facts of the situation.

While prepping for a crisis stemming from an HR or employment issue, it’s important to establish:

  • a reliable source of information in a crisis.
  • means to respond quickly to reach employees or external stakeholders.
  • ways to minimize disruption and streamline communication to help protect staff, brand and reputation.

Being prepared for challenging situations

There are three main ways to know if an organization is prepared for an employment crisis.

  • It’s important to know what the risks are that the company could be exposed to and how that can affect it.
  • Knowing the company policies and having a protocol to follow them is critical to being prepared in a crisis.
  • Having a plan and being prepared to respond under any scenario could mean all the difference. It should be the expectation that events will happen so that companies can be prepared to respond accordingly.

Questions to reflect upon

While establishing crisis management policies and practices, it’s important for HR representatives for businesses to conduct an internal audit of its practices and discover whether:

  • the company in fact has solid and useful protocols in place.
  • the company balances legal and HR considerations in the plan.
  • stakeholders support and understand potential blowback of policies.
  • the company has a communication line with workforce and necessary stakeholders to announce decisions being made.