A Lesson in Crisis Management


Businesses should be properly prepared for any eventuality, be it a natural disaster or a pandemic like the one we are experiencing now. But aside from ensuring all capital assets are secured, companies have a legal and moral responsibility to take care of their employees in times of trouble.

Indeed, when things get out of hand, it is your employees who will be feeling the brunt. Their health and welfare will certainly be on the line. That said, you have to do everything you can to support them.

During the rough times ahead, it’s important for the HR Department to keep running in order to address employee concerns in the most efficient way possible.

Here are a few things you will need to keep in mind:

  1. Maintain constant communication

When it comes to a crisis, your employees need to know what exactly is going on as much as you do. Often, corporate interests could keep you from giving them an idea of what’s happening, but keeping in touch with employees is still crucial. They need to know what the company is doing with regards to their safety and job security. 

As much as you want to keep certain information from them, it is still important to be honest and factual. Give them a rundown of the plans ahead during a town hall meeting where they can give suggestions. After that, you can follow up with emails, memos, and SMS for critical updates. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can build trust among your employees and show them that the company is still on top of things. 

  1. Undergo contingency planning

For sure, you just can’t risk planning for a crisis at the exact moment it turns up. It’s always important to have a contingency plan in place so you know exactly what to do when a situation gets worse. As much as possible, try to look at various scenarios and see what solutions you can draw out for each one. 

Then again, no amount of planning can prepare you for the worst, but being aware is better than letting your guard down. That said, the HR Department should be able to draft out what it needs to do in keeping employees safe and coaching other members of the team. It’s these functions that will help protect the interests of the company and its employees during a crisis.

  1. Ensure financial stability

As the coronavirus spreads throughout the country, businesses find themselves contemplating laying off workers to cushion the blow to their bottom lines. However, under no circumstances should businesses dismiss employees without due compensation. That is why some companies are looking into work-from-home arrangements and paid leaves in order to support their employees during the crisis. That said, make sure to work seamlessly with the Finance Department and see if you can prepare compensation packages for hard-hit employees. 

You only need to make sure you have all the right platforms that can help in activities such as processing leave applications and issuing pay stubs. Smaller businesses, meanwhile, can check out a sample pay stub from service providers who can help make things move a little faster. So, if you’re an HR professional for a boutique enterprise, you should be able to simplify the process of propping up your employees when times get tough.

Profitability is important for keeping the company afloat, but when it comes to a crisis, you shouldn't overlook the needs of your workers who will be facing tremendous challenges ahead. After all, you are all in this together.