You Created an Office Emergency Plan… Now What?
This may sound like a familiar scenario: you and your team worked hard to create, develop and test your office emergency plan, you emailed the 40-page document to every employee in the company, and then a few months later there was a weather situation that resulted in the bulk of your employees not being able to make it in. Can you remember what happened next? Chances are high words like: chaos, confusion, miscommunication, stress, fear and business disruption come to mind.
Well, breathe easy - we’re here to show you that you’re not alone and that it is still possible to take all that hard work you put into the your corporate emergency plan and ensure it is available, accessible and actionable.
To help reinforce how vital business safety really is to you and your employees, here are some facts and figures* to think about before you schedule your next meeting about your office emergency plan:
- Only half of employees surveyed believe their workplace is prepared for an emergency.
- 25% of employees say their companies only communicate what to expect in emergencies at the last minute.
- For office workers, natural disasters and storms are the biggest workplace safety concerns.
- 60% of businesses are under prepared for disasters and emergencies.
So yes, you really do need to schedule that meeting and determine how you are going to get your plan into the hands of your employees before and when they need it.
Available and Accessible
There is likely a lot of paper on your desk and in your desk drawers and many more documents saved locally on your computer. All likely important and vital information but if you’re away from the office for an extended period of time - will someone else on your team know where to look for the contracts, product schedules, or marketing numbers? Exactly… this is why the traditional methods of knowledge-sharing simply don’t work when it comes to must-have information.
Too many companies store their incident communications material and business safety documents in big binders in a “central” location or have the information available on a networked server in a folder called “emergency”.
This simply does not work. This vital information must be available and actionable at all times. Regardless of employee level, responsibility or experience - everyone in your company needs to know what to do during an interruption, threat or emergency. A central binder doesn’t work that well when the building is not accessible. A file on your networked server is useless when the air conditioning units in your server unit failed over the weekend and all of the servers have over-heated.
So, how do you make sure your office emergency plan is available and actionable? The answer, a mobile solution. In other words - communicate your plan to your employees on a device they are never without.
Actionable and Accountable
During a crisis or an incident there is no time for chaos, uncertainty or questions. Your employees need to know what they have to do and how they should be doing it. You’ll be busy enough managing the tasks your employees shouldn’t be concerned with so you won’t have time to answer questions about off-site working protocols, the location of the temporary work space, the external meeting place or the location of the call list.
To make your office emergency plan actionable it needs to be accessible. That central binder is not going to work. It’s likely outdated anyway since you didn’t update it when you created the new division or after you moved from the second floor to the 10th floor. This means you need a proven way to update and communicate this plan.
Once this plan has been communicated, reviewed, updated and tested and is shown to be available, accessible and actionable - your employees are now accountable. You and your employees can rest easy knowing that everyone knows what to do during a crisis or incident. The office emergency plan is easy-to-access, you can send out updates quickly and easily, your employees know what they need to do, and no one is left wandering around looking for the binder.
To learn more about how to turn your office emergency plan into a crisis management app, visit our website today.
*Check out our infographic to learn more about these statistics and their sources.