Blogs

Jo Geraghty

Director

Emergency communications

Date added: 21st Nov 2014
Category: Employee Engagement

When it comes to an emergency you really find out who your friends are. So runs the saying, but in business when it comes to an emergency a spotlight also shines on the employer/employee relationship.

When it comes to an emergency you really find out who your friends are.  So runs the saying, but in business when it comes to an emergency a spotlight also shines on the employer/employee relationship.  As with any relationship communication is key and a recent survey by the Business Continuity Institute in conjunction with Everbridge has highlighted the challenges facing those tasked with emergency communication planning.

The survey concentrated on mid to large enterprises and it is perhaps therefore unsurprising that 86% of them had a communication plan in place.  It is also fairly pleasing that some 65% of organisations have a training or education plan in place in respect of emergency communications although how the remainder expect employees to know what to do in an emergency is a moot point.

However, when an emergency strikes over a quarter of organisations don’t request responses from their staff and perhaps more worrying, over half of plan failures are attributed to incorrect employee information and lack of understanding on the part of recipients.  This suggests that whilst organisations are generally accepting of the need for an emergency communication plan, they are failing to both train end users and to ensure communication channels are robust.  Perhaps part of the reason for this can be laid at the door of the leadership with survey participants reporting that “the common reason for the reduced effectiveness of emergency communications is the passivity of top management.”

When it comes to business continuity, to reducing the scope of a disaster and to creating the conditions for a swift return to business as usual then communication and engagement are key.  The simple fact of training employees, of explaining to them what their part is in an emergency will go some way towards boosting their engagement levels.  When it comes to an emergency you soon find out who your friends are; let’s hope that thanks to training and engagement some of them at least are your employees.

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