Navigating Through Crisis with Confidence: Lessons in Crisis Management From COVID-19

May 17, 2020

If 2020 has taught us anything it is that even in challenging times the world keeps spinning. COVID-19 came about suddenly, leaving the world in disarray and in turn shedding light on just how unprepared many businesses were to deal with the crisis at hand. While the immediate priority was and continues to be employee safety, the need for a plan of action was not far behind.

Across all industries, companies have been forced to reinvent themselves, remaining in a sort of gelatin-like state, able to mold and transform as needed. For some, this has only required some minor tweaking and adapting of their contingency plan; for others, this is all new territory. According to PR News, “approximately 62 percent of companies have crisis plans, though it is uncertain how many regularly update them.” There are things that we can do now to help improve what our businesses will ultimately look like on the other side of all of this.  

One place to begin is to consider dedicating a person or a team, depending on your company size, to all thing’s crisis. Any crisis, especially one much like we are experiencing now, can take a toll on various facets of a business. However, a cohesive team that is trained and prepared per the established crisis management guidelines will make this and any future predicament that much easier to navigate.

Throughout these unsettling times, here are some recommendations that are fundamental to maintain business as “normal” as possible.

Stay focused on the vision for your business and convey it daily.

Maintain transparency to provide employees with a sense of security from leadership and the public with an understanding of what is going on with the business they connect to. This also ties into communicating, which should be done openly and in a careful, thorough way to bridge the gap between leadership and employees.

Most importantly, do your best to keep a positive work environment, rather than feeding into fear and uncertainty. Focus on some of the good things going on and what can be and is being accomplished.

Navigating through a crisis is never an easy task and certainly not one to be taken lightly. However, it can also be the best time for your business to become a beacon for those within your industry and beyond. Consider how your immediate reaction as well as your company’s outlook on the long-term can help you reemerge fiercer and more viable from the crisis. While the repercussions of the pandemic are still largely unknown, it is never too late to learn lessons in crisis management.