The emergency response plan your organization has in place dictates how well your team will respond in times of crisis. What employees immediately do in an emergency will have direct consequences for the outcome of the situation.
Emergencies put company assets, such as material documents, buildings, and finances, at great risk. They also potentially endanger the lives of employees. The gravity of such instances requires utmost care, so your organization must take the necessary steps to ensure that you have a well-made emergency response plan.
It should also not stop at developing your response plan. How well it is communicated has a profound effect on your employees and their response in actual emergencies.
Communicating Your Emergency Response Plan
These are some ways for your organization to ensure that your employees are well-informed about your emergency response. Follow these steps.
1. Reassure them of your safety and security measures.
Your team members must be aware of the efforts of your organization to respond to disasters and other emergencies. Your first course of action is to hold a workshop or internal informational campaign to educate your employees on the measures in place.
Detail your plans for evacuation and sheltering should an emergency occur. Emergency communication managers should also discuss how to go about lockdowns in the event of violence in the workplace.
Aside from these plans, it greatly helps to inform them about the structural integrity of your workplace building and even the security systems you have in place, from your long-term stormwater protection plans to other regulations you are implementing.
These details not only show how seriously your organization takes their safety. They also reassure them of how well your team will manage if unexpected events occur.
2. Use straightforward language.
In communicating an emergency plan, you must be straight to the point. Avoid flowery vocabulary and use exact language to inform employees of your message. This makes sure that each person understands what they have to do and avoids any confusion that could lead to accidents or injuries in the event of an issue.
Be careful of the terms you are using in your emergency messages. Communicate using easily understandable words so that employees receive the immediate steps they must take for safety clearly and concisely.
3. Repeat the message.
In larger workplaces, teams may have multiple parties in charge of disseminating important information to all employees. Without a well-developed communication plan, the messaging leaves room for misunderstanding.
Even in a crisis, your team leaders must ensure that the same message is being shared with every team member. When your team successfully maintains a singular message, it leaves little room for panicking and doubt.
It is also important to repeat important notes, as digesting information during emergencies can be challenging for certain individuals. Keep a calm and consistent tone as you send out reminders to avoid causing unnecessary panic.
4. Use the appropriate platforms.
The simplest way to make sure that necessary information is properly distributed is to have a central communication platform to which employees will refer in case of an emergency. Have a separate channel in your corporate communications app for urgent announcements and instructions. This allows your emergency communication leaders to share information quickly from a singular source.
Aside from emergencies, it helps to echo your messaging even outside of crises. Post explainers, infographics, and other relevant publication materials on your internal bulletin boards and online pages. Employees must know where they should look to find updates about certain goings-on and how to respond accordingly.
5. Update your plans as needed.
As times change and your organization continues to evolve, your emergency response plans should also adapt to your changing needs. Your emergency response plans should reflect the correct number of employees in your current team, the setting of your workplace, and other relevant details that affect everyone’s safety at any given time. For instance, plans should account for the increase in foot traffic for teams that have grown significantly larger through the months.
Have your emergency communication leaders regularly share this updated information with employees, too. When employees receive updates with clarity and authority from your emergency response team, it helps them gain more trust in those put in charge and the people they are working with.
Do not wait for emergencies to occur before developing a strong and decisive emergency response plan that is communicated clearly to staff. Remember that good communication can save lives in these events.