Lately, many natural calamities have hit America, affecting everything. The impact of these calamities can also be seen in businesses and corporate houses. Employees hit by a crisis situation bring the effects to the office. With time, having a skilled programme to help employees dealing with the crisis has become the need of modern day businesses.
The human resource of your organization is also a human being thus gets affected by what happens in the surrounding. Usually, a company’s crisis management planning includes protecting company assets in case of crisis, minimizing the losses, avoiding disruption, resettling after the crisis and more. But, the latest needs of crisis management demands inclusion of Human Resource Crisis management.
Acting as a liaison between the company and the employee, the HR has to ensure to take up active participation in crisis management plan of any business. Experts in the industry say, “HR’s role is to represent the human side of this organization or this process,” They need to be trained and educated in [crisis management] and share and promote that need for crisis management throughout the organization. They are uniquely qualified to do that. They can be the bully pulpit to make people understand it’s important.”
Crisis management has three typical stages and HR must be an integral part of each stage. Out of these three stages- planning, responding & recovering, HR plays a more important role in planning and recovery.
Identifying the threat:
Having a crisis management plan isn’t enough, but having a systematic plan is the required. Thus, a crisis management plan must incorporate threat management as well. If you do not have the ability to identify the threat and respond immediately, your crisis management will become weaker. Moreover, with a timely identified threat, you can minimize the losses.
Once the threat is identified, you can help the employees well in advance. You can plan a crisis management plans keeping in view the needs (food, shelter, family safety and more) of the employee.
“When people are really stressed, one of the first things that are knocked out is a cognitive function, having a strong plan in place documenting what you’re going to do is critically important. That is something HR can drive.” Says expert.
When the crisis hits, HR has to play an active role in keeping contact with both companies as well as the employees. As per the experts, “You need to have a method in place to gather information on the status of the company and the status of employees,”
You must have a well-communicated plan to keep in touch with the employees. This must be a part of the employee handbook as well as induction program. There should also be a well-devised plan B, in case the original plan doesn’t respond.
The employees must have clarity of thoughts. “Let them know exactly who to call, not just ‘call HR, little things like that make a big difference in a crisis.” Say the expert.
The role of an HR is highly prominent in this phase. You have to help the company as well as the employees to regain their composure. You need to find out the unique needs of the employees & organization that they require to bring their life on tracks and join back work. This includes:
- Checking whether the employees or their families need residential campus based treatment services
- How can the company help them in such case?
- How to fill in the gap between the company and the employee
You need to be vigilant to take care of the issue and provide the best of your HR services.
Keep testing the plan:
Once you have a plan in place, it is important to test it in real-life situations. Run mock drills and make employees follow the crisis management guidelines. This will help you make the planning smarter; matching the needs of time and different situations.