One of your employees was working overtime when she came across a massive problem. Something extremely concerning was found. This employee does the right thing by not keeping it to themselves until the morning. She calls the manager and you, the owner, but can’t either of you. She doesn’t know how to handle the issue herself and is afraid to ask for outside help without authorization.
This scenario is not an ideal one should an emergency occur. It could be anything from an electrical or water problem, gross incompetent handling of funds, a warning from an industry regulator or perhaps an investment that has gone off track.
This panicky employee quickly sends the information via email but gets no response. By the next morning, your business has sustained a huge hit. You walk into the office and have no idea what happened or went wrong in the night. How can you avoid this damaging scene from happening? Let’s take a look at a few emergency strategies for businesses.
Be in Contact at All Times
Nowadays, there’s no excuse to still be communicating with employees using your personal cell phone. Nor should your employees have to use their own phones. A company like Safebit provides businesses with VoIP phone systems, that allow all of your relevant employees to stay in touch with each other, with the aid of a business phone.
These can be wireless desk phones, which save you money by not needing phone lines. However, you can also use smartphones. Pick a smartphone model that’s relatively affordable but still offers plenty of great features. A mid-range smartphone like the OnePlus 7T, Google Pixel 3a or Samsung S8 would work well for this. Give these to your managers and some of your top employees, and make sure they are turned on during non-working hours in case of an emergency.
Have an Emergency Protocol In Place
If one of your employees needs to contact management, they should be able to easily. Making sure your managers respond after-hours is dependent on the agreement you have with them and the emergency protocol you set. It’s important to outline what situations require immediate attention and which ones can wait until the next workday. All employees need to be aware of this policy and use it accordingly. The following questions will help employees know what constitutes an emergency.
- What is the major concern?
- What do they believe is causing it?
- What are the immediate solutions they can or recommend taking?
Have them relay this information to a manager immediately. If all managers involved believe they need to act now, upper-management or owners should be contacted.
Once the situation has been taken to the management team/owners, they will determine the next steps. These may be taken by the employees themselves, the management or outside agencies. You or the management team may also call an emergency meeting to discuss the problem and possible solutions.
I do recommend that you have as many emergency situations outlined in writing as possible. Managers and all employees can go over this information in training and review it regularly for the best results. Having practice drills is also a good idea since repetition will help to solidify any procedures.