Write an essay about dealing with a crisis.
A good workplace should employ crisis intervention strategies to prevent the occurrence of a crisis. Unfortunately, even a good intervention strategy can stumble, therefore a chief executive officer (CEO) needs to have a crisis management team who are well equipped to cope with any office grumble, panic, and malpractice. Crises in a workplace could range from a colleague’s rage over a stolen lunch, an employee fainting, to embezzlement and public mishaps. Either way, a crisis needs to be managed and it is the role of the crisis management team to ensure it is dealt with in the appropriate manner. Multiple ways are available to cope with a crisis. Hours of discussion, redundancy packages and immediate action are all options, but they should not be taken without caution. Arguably, the best crisis response strategies revolve around the 3 C’s. Communication. Cause. Commitment.
The first action should be communication. Even if the crisis management team is still working on a strategy, they need to let the disgruntled employees or consumers know that their issue has been heard and taken on board. A simple version of ‘We at [insert company name] hear and respect your opinions. We are aiming to work with you to find a preferable solution and will aim to share this with you in [insert time frame here]’ allows the parties involved to know that the workplace has identified their problem and is not only taking it seriously but actively working on a solution. Being as open as possible allows everyone involved to know that the business is personal and that their opinion is valid. This is beneficial to the workplace as it reduces extra stress and possibilities of more bad press. With communication, there is the option to converse with the disgruntled parties what they hope to achieve from the crisis with the intention of reaching a neutral and beneficial resolution. Sometimes, for example if the crisis is out of house (an oil spill resulting in disease) and negatively impacting health and/or the environment, a good action to get people back on side would be to apologise and communicate the help the enterprise will provide to compensate. Sadly, apologising may not always be available, in which case the company should communicate a calming message to the public. Nevertheless, communication with the parties of the crisis is always important to help them respect the company and believe in the solution.
Secondly, the company needs to ask itself; is the solution we created suitable for the cause of the crisis? The answer should always be yes. If the answer is no, however, the first step of communication becomes more important as the employer needs to contact professionals and/or conduct audience research to find a suitable solution to the crisis. It is important to remember that the response to the crisis needs to attempt to please everyone involved, which becomes more concerning if it becomes a public affair making the shareholders, perpetrators, consumers and everyone with access to the news involved. In this instance, it is vital that a company is not overly concerned with pleasing everyone as such a thing is not possible. Instead it needs to prioritise the suitability of the solution to the cause of the crisis and if the most important and relevant people are adequately content with it. If so, then the solution needs to be acted upon. This solution should be discussed with the parties involved if it occurred in house, or a press release and/or actions taken if it is a public relations crisis.
After initiating the crisis response and creating action, the company needs to be committed to their solution. The third point of the 3-point plan cannot be stressed enough. If the company makes a U-turn or ignores its own message, they will lose consumers, possibly employees, and public respect. Thereby causing another crisis, which will be much harder to contain as the public will not listen to the communication and will not believe the solution is suitable to the cause because they have already painted the company a liar. A company who stayed committed to their crisis response to a relatively good and successful level was Pepsi in 2017. In April 2017, Pepsi released a tone-deaf advert involving model Kendall Jenner that was highly viewed as trivialising the Black Lives Matter movement. It showed Jenner leaving the ‘protest’ side, who were trivialised as holding signs saying ‘Join the Conversation’, to present a can of Pepsi to an opposing ‘aggressive’ police officer which united the groups. The advert was viewed as baffling and insulting. Yet, Pepsi’s crisis management strategy was committed to the cause by following through with their communication of an apology, which took responsibility, by removing their advert and staying apologetic. These swift, responsible, and committed actions were shown to be successful.
In conclusion, it is beneficial for a company when facing a crisis to communicate, react suitably to the cause of the crisis and stay committed to their response. A crisis should not be ignored. A company should not place all its confidence on it simply ‘blowing over’. It is far better to communicate by accepting responsibility and thinking of the people when making a committed solution.