Human Resources Crucial to Crisis Management

Hurricanes and storms hit the Eastern seaboard, wiping out entire neighborhoods in some areas. Deadly shootings broke out in several schools, as well as a Colorado movie theater and a shopping mall in Oregon. And in thousands of small businesses around the country, business was disrupted by fires, floods, data breaches, property theft, power outages, and more.

According to a recent article by http://kpbj.com, the majority of small businesses are not prepared to respond to crises. The consequences include shutdown of operations (either temporarily or permanently), loss of revenue, and a damaged reputation. Other fallout lies with employees. This is where the human resources department can come to the rescue, according to a recent article posted on http://kpbj.com.

“In any crisis, the most affected by the residual impact are your employees,” according to the article’s author, Dan Weedin. “Depending on the crisis, they may fear for their job; fear for the jobs of their co-workers; become overly distracted and have their performance suffer; and worry about their standing in the community as a part of the organization.”

The solution to these issues is a solid business continuity plan that can respond to any crisis. And while creating this plan, the best business owners make their HR team an integral part of the process. Why? According to Weedin:

  • When a crisis occurs, while the boss is putting out fires, the HR can step in and respond to employee needs.
  • If someone within the company must notify family members of an emergency, the HR department can present the best “voice.”
  • HR is well-educated in the laws and regulations that might occur with shutdowns, terminations, and other employee-related moves.
  • The HR director keeps track of employee morale during and after a crisis. This better enables them to handle the fear, uncertainty, anger and even depression that may result in employees during and after an emergency.

If you are both the boss and the HR person, it is even more important to have a well-documented crisis response plan. “You don’t have a margin for error,” Weedin writes. “You might also consider outsourcing many of your HR functions to consultants who offer this service. In the end, it may be a terrific investment to save you time and to aid when bad stuff happens!”

For more information about why human resources is vital during an emergency, visit: http://kpbj.com/headlines/business_tools/2013-01-04/human_resources_a_crucial_cog_in_crisis_management