This one word epitomises for me the South African response to disasters. The Brits may have their stiff upper lip, but we have the ability to scratch our heads and 'maar maak 'n plan'.
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt form the 20's, it’s that uncertainty is certain. The storms may take many forms for your business, but you have survived before and you will continue to do so... especially if we plan for them.
7 Storm Survival Tips
- Don’t panic!
- Stick to your Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
- Look after your people - offer emotional support and counselling services if needed, as some employees may experience trauma or stress because of the disaster. Be flexible with work hours and responsibilities, understanding that employees may have been affected at home.
- Communicate with your customers - notify customers about the impact of the disaster on your business, including any changes in service or product availability. Use all available channels, such as email, social media, and your website. Apologise for the inconvenience and offer alternative solutions. Honour commitments and agreements with customers to the best of your ability, even if there are delays.
- Be transparent and ask for help - be honest about the situation and the estimated time for resuming regular operations. If it is likely to be a prolonged disruption, provide regular updates. Ask employees for ideas and lead from the front. (Learn how to fall forward with Margaret Hirsch)
- Reach out - engage with your local community and leverage your recovery story as an opportunity to connect with customers and demonstrate resilience. Offer assistance where possible, it will not be forgotten.
- Breathe and look after your own health.
Remember that both employees and customers are essential stakeholders in your business, and how you handle them during and after a disaster can have a lasting impact on your reputation and long-term success. Prioritising their well-being and maintaining clear, empathetic communication is key to navigating this challenging period.
By Janet Askew