The time to think about managing a workplace crisis is now. Crises can occur in any business at any time. When tragedy strikes, you must be ready to respond. Quick action will minimize the negative impact of a crisis and prevents the snowball effect. This is no substitute for a comprehensive crisis management plan, but this guide will help point you in the right direction.

Step 1: Have a Plan

Without a plan in place, a crisis can quickly go from bad to worse. It’s vital that you have a plan to implement when a crisis occurs. Start by identifying what types of crisis your business might face. From there, develop a plan to manage the crisis that can be quickly and easily implemented by your employees.

Step 2: Have 2 Teams

You really need two teams. Team A consists of your internal employees charged with immediate response. This might include managers, on-site safety personnel, and human resources contacts. Most importantly, this team needs a leader who can quickly make decisions and delegate action. Team B consists of external specialists to manage specific areas. This might include crisis management experts, lawyers, PR experts, and even translators and grief counselors. Tailor this to your needs. Contact information should be posted somewhere easily accessible. Click HERE for a fillable panel.

Step 3: Train EVERYONE

Take time to train each employee on steps they should take when a crisis occurs. Every employee should know exactly what to do, where to go, and who to contact. There will not be time to figure it out.

Step 4: Understand What Happens Next

After the immediate crisis ends, managing it does not. Know what steps to take next. Employees who witnessed traumatic events might need counseling. Insurance claims need to be filed. Control of a public narrative needs to be established. Know what you need to do to get back to business as usual.

Step 5: Review and Update

Once you have a plan in place, review it regularly and update it as needed.