Change is Inevitable, Disasters Happen – Stay Ahead by Preparing Well
Even the best business and economic forecasters cannot always predict the future. When it comes to natural disasters, forecasts are often even less reliable. However, just because you may not always know what tomorrow may hold for you and your business does not mean that you can’t be prepared for any event that may occur.
It is a characteristic of a smart and successful organization to be able to anticipate all eventualities and adapt to changes as they occur. Successful companies not only survive when faced with unpredictable changes, they manage to thrive. It is imperative than when faced with a hardship of any magnitude, your organization stays focused on its goals and mission, and that your change management strategy stays consistent with your organizational purpose. As a team, department, or company leader, you are responsible for looking to the future, making sure your team is headed in the right direction, and always planning a few steps ahead.
An excellent way to prepare for handling the unpredictable and the unforeseen is to establish an Effective Change Management Plan.
Do so by first reviewing your mission statement and revising it for clarity and precision if necessary. The length of a mission statement can vary from a single sentence to a full paragraph of text. Regardless of its size, it’s important for your company to have a mission statement and keep it up to date. Your mission statement should be clear in outlining what you do and who you are, describing your area(s) of specialization, and defining your purpose. Spelling things out will crystallize your company’s essential characteristics and objectives. This, in turn, will make it easier and more manageable to set goals and decide on a course of action in an emergency situation. Remember to make a copy of the mission statement available to each employee and explain it to each person clearly.
Secondly, realize that before a crisis management situation occurs, you are going to want to know what works well within your organization and what needs to be improved. Don’t leave this task until a time when a disaster strikes. Take the time now to review and examine the day-to-day operations of your team and identify areas that require adjustments in order to maximize performance. It is also recommended to listen to employee feedback and notify employees of the changes you implement as well as of the reasoning behind the changes.
Additionally, there are a few essential steps you can take to improve your company’s emergency preparedness. These steps include researching what others in your industry are doing to prepare for internal emergencies, like a data hack or power outage, or external emergencies such as weather emergencies or other natural disaster. It is also important to have something like an organizational flowchart with contact information of all personnel that would need to be contacted in an emergency. Moreover, you will want to consider the needs of your employees and how your company may need to assist employees in the face of unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, meet with your department heads to identify preventative measures that could be taken to minimize effects on and damage to the physical plant and personnel.
The power to expect the unexpected and prepare accordingly is in your hands. Be proactive and follow the steps and suggestions outlined above to position your organization advantageously for dealing with major changes and/or emergencies.
Suzanne Updegraff is the Founder and CEO of EDSI. Their blog is at: blog.employeedevelopmentsystems.com