By Katherine Rundell:
You may hope that your business never needs to draw on its crisis management team. But if a crisis occurs, businesses that are ready are the ones who thrive as new opportunities present themselves. Building the right team to manage a crisis is essential preparation. Knowing how to select the perfect candidates for your crisis management team and compensating for any political appointments will mean that in the event of a crisis, you’re covered.
1) Understand How Crises Unfold
Before you can begin building your crisis management team you need to understand the form that crises take and how they unfold. A crisis can impact your business in many ways from disrupting your supply chain to reducing demand, and how you respond as a business will depend on your industry.
Responding to a crisis cannot be done in a vacuum, so as you begin to build your crisis management team it’s essential that you communicate with vendors, suppliers and business partners so that everyone understands the implications of upheaval. From this firm footing, your crisis management planning can begin in earnest.
2) Identify the Right People
Responding to a crisis requires specific skill sets and those that are best placed to react aren’t necessarily those that are excelling in normal times. Identifying the qualities you need your crisis management team to possess is essential, and the characteristics that emerge may surprise you.
Confidence and decisive decision making are key elements of those who respond well in a crisis, but the need for collaboration under certain crisis conditions makes the right candidate a well-rounded individual. Although high-ranking employees may seem like the obvious pick for your crisis team, ensuring that they have the relevant qualities is essential. Nobody should be on the team based on seniority alone.
3) Draw Your Team From the Right Departments
“A functional crisis team needs a broad skill base and so each department in your business should be well represented,” says Salome Clayton, crisis Manager at Revieweal and Essay Services. “A crisis team with a narrow scope is liable to miss opportunities and neglect certain outcomes in its decision making.”
Ensure that Communications, Legal, IT, Accounting and HR are all well represented amongst your candidates. If your business is thinly spread geographically then it’s essential to include team members in different locations.
4) Draw Up a Plan
When the crisis comes, having the perfect team assembled isn’t going to be enough. Your team needs to have a plan of action, including a well-structured timeline and a clear differentiation of roles and responsibilities within the team. In advance of any crisis occurring, document the roles that team members will take in the crisis, and ensure their expertise are suited to the task. A crisis is a unique time and can demand skills that are rarely drawn on in usual circumstances so it may be necessary to ensure training and retraining take place in a timely manner.
5) Choose The Right Leader
When a crisis strikes, leadership is more important than ever before. Decision-making must be done decisively and execution of a plan can’t falter. Your business’s crisis team should have a leader clearly appointed, and this role should be agreed upon without dissent amongst your crisis management team.
Your leader must have the qualities that make them suitable for the role. The temptation to appoint as team leader the most senior member of the team needs to be resisted: often, these high-ranking employees have specialized knowledge that suits them to niche tasks and the best leader for your team is someone with a broader, but less specialized, skill base.
6) Get the Team Signed Off
Ensure the senior leadership of your business signs off on the team, and that roles and responsibilities are finalised. “It sometimes occurs that members of the team will be appointed due to political motives rather than skill based assessments,” says Angela Stabile, HR at Best Dissertation Writing Services and OXEssays. “When the leadership issues such roles, it’s essential that you compensate for this by including specialized candidates.” Doing so will mean your crisis management team can handle anything.
Weather the Storm
Building a crisis management team can’t happen soon enough as you never know what’s around the corner. Understanding the nature that crises can take, and drawing from all departments when building your team, your business will be ready to weather the storm.
Katherine Rundell is a writer at Do My Assignment and PhD Thesis Writing services and a blogger at Essay Writing Services. As a management consultant Katherine has been supporting businesses to thrive in crises for over a decade.