Should I go to work or do I stay home? Are we open for business? Am I an essential employee? These are some of the questions employees often ask themselves when a disaster impacts operations. Communication with staff before a disaster is often overlooked and can be addressed easily.
Your first step
Identify employees who are essential to maintaining and/or restoring core functions. Essential employees are vital to operations and should ideally reside within close proximity of the business. Staffing levels should be kept to a minimum and only employees classified under this category should report for work in a disaster or post-disaster situation.
Establish a communication tree
One tree should be essential employees, (i.e. President, CEO, CFO, Operations Manager, IT Manager, etc.) contact information. The second communication tree is the non-essential staff to provide an operational update. Depending on the comfort level of your business, the communication method could be via phone, text messaging, or email, or a combination of these methods. Determine what method works for your staff and be consistent with it. Ensure that your employees’ contact information is up-to-date.
Initiate the communication tree
Delegate a staff member in advance with the responsibility of contacting employees on the respective Communication Trees. Be mindful that communication starts Pre-disaster. Depending on the level of the disaster, plan on when and what information should be released.
A pre-drafted script stating what your message to your employees is recommended.
Consider a hotline
A hotline or message notification system is an effective and easy way for employers and employees to communicate during an event. Information would be pre-recorded providing detailed instructions or information for staff. Employees can call the hotline for updates without having to speak to a live voice.
Information is provided via pre-recorded scripted message providing detailed instructions or information for staff.
Communication is the key
Effective communication will clear up any confusion that may occur during an event. Stay connected to your employees and keep them posted during a disaster.
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