Crises management is an aread many Polish companies are unprepared for, such as a serious crisis situation, such as production fatalities, planting a bomb, mass transport accident, hacker attack or a terrorist incident.
And such situations not only can happen, but can also lead to real financial losses or loss of property. Practice shows that approx. 60 percent. potential incidents are predictable as they have already occurred in the industry in question. Risk analysis in terms of the emergence of the need for crisis management in connection with a specific incident allows you to check in advance how the company is prepared for such a situation.
“But the same experience also shows that the lack of appropriate procedures, scenarios and finally crisis management under pressure means that the ability to make quick decisions can drop below 50%. This can sometimes mean loss of property, financial loss, loss of goodwill, loss of reputation, but also loss of human life. So how to properly prepare for a crisis situation”, Michał Lorenc, president of the Celius crisis management company, tries to answer this question.
The question is not whether there will be an incident that will require crisis management only when it does. It is also about serious incidents such as: activities of services (Police, ABW, CBA) on the company’s premises, a serious health and safety incident (injured employees or fatalities), an attack on health and life (a terrorist incident), a pandemic incident (Covid, threat biological) fire, media incident (hate, media crisis), environmental incident or cyber attack. Such or similar events may result in impeding or stopping the continuity of the business process, loss of property, but also lead to human casualties, says Lorenc.
Most Polish companies or institutions are not well prepared to manage a serious crisis situation, such as fatalities during production, providing information about a bomb, mass transport accident, hacker attack or a terrorist incident – such a situation can lead to real financial losses or loss of property.
The current situation in Ukraine makes it all the more inclined to prepare a crisis management process in each area. Although, of course, not all incidents carry such threats as during the war for our eastern neighbour. Before implementing the appropriate procedures, an analysis must be carried out: what resources do we have to manage a crisis situation, what resources will be needed, are our employees trained to operate in a crisis mode,
Time for crisis management procedures
After the analysis, it is time to implement appropriate procedures and appoint a crisis team, consisting of people who will be able to cover all management, legal, health and safety and IT issues. Such a staff must always be informed about an incident in a company or institution. The crisis management staff manages the technical services, security services, employees, and notifies the relevant services. This is possible even if its members are far from the place of the crisis.
“There are several elements in crisis management that are key to such a process: initiating information about the crisis by the notifying person, confirming that we are actually dealing with a crisis and initial diagnosis regarding the definition of what we are dealing with. It is also necessary to assess the scale of the crisis, select people appropriate for the type of crisis for the crisis management team and mobilise the members of the crisis team to be ready to actively manage and control the incident.” explains Michał Lorenc.
And as he emphasises, it is very important to have quick access to instructions and procedures supporting the decision-making process, as well as access to current legal provisions or statutes. You also need to document the activities performed in the crisis management process and generate current reports on the course of activities so far. It is very important to have access to relevant information for members of the crisis management team at the same time.
Speed of information is key
Crisis incidents require a very fast flow of information. The automation of the crisis management process gives a chance to start the crisis management team immediately. Remote management allows you to reach employees with the right commands. Here you can take advantage of IT solutions. Michał Lorenc recommends his company’s application.
“Incident reporting is done by pressing a button on a mobile, laptop or desktop computer screen. The application directly communicates with employees with the crisis team. An employee who wants to report an incident on the phone, selects the type of incident from the list and notifies the team leader on duty with one button.
It can easily attach a photo, video, document, event location, and pre-define the threat level. After receiving the information, the leader connects with the reporter with one button and confirms the event. Launches the mobilisation of a crisis team dedicated to a given incident. This operation takes several minutes. Members see what happened and where it happened. The application also notifies the relevant services” he describes.
Staff members act according to the scenario in the application, seeing each other who performs what and when, the team uses the chat, everyone sees the same image of the crisis on the screens of their phones or computers. The leader approves the performance of individual activities. The team has a voice communicator at their disposal. Interviews made in the course of crisis management are recorded. You can see which activities have been performed and which are in progress, and you can control the location of the incident and everyone involved in the management process.
The team can give instructions to all employees or share important information. It can create documents, use forms, generate activity reports in progress or a final report. Such a report, together with voice recording files, is a faithful reflection of the actions of the crisis team, specifying the time of action and assigning specific people to the management process.
The implementation and use of the application does not require the help of specialised IT department employees, if, for example, it is not available. Importantly, it allows for a thorough analysis of the end of the incident.