Op-Ed: COVID-19 threat — Lead your organization through effective crisis management
The threat of coronavirus/COVID-19 is real. Today, every organization must be prepared to face its consequences, whether due to a possible outbreak between its employees or the closure of operations to avoid being a source of contagion.
There is much that is unknown about COVID-19. In the event of a possible emergency, we will have to act, even when we don’t have all the data or precise information.
Having an internal communication and an external communication plan is essential for any company or organization at this time. Internal communication strategies may include:
- Workshops on best hygiene practices;
- Weekly meetings to emphasize protocols for possible symptoms and/or suspicious cases;
- Organization’s quarantine protocols and guidelines;
- Cancel training outside of Puerto Rico to avoid places that are a source of contagion;
- Establish the use of videoconferencing system for workshops and trainings
- Remote or work from home alternatives; and,
- Strategies to mitigate impact on business or productivity by workforce reduction during a quarantine.
Given the avalanche of “information” and speculation, it’s important to note that employees may be exposed to misinformation that prevents them from making the best decisions.
Such is the case of Dartmouth Business School event, where a man with coronavirus disregarded quarantine instructions. Having a strict company policy regarding COVID 19 and contagious diseases ensures that the employee will include the best tools that provide for the continuity of operations while protecting them and their family’s health during a quarantine.
In terms of external communication, every organization should have guidelines on how to ensure the flow of information with its external audiences, inform the public about partial continuity of operations, the cancellation of events or the closure of facilities or business, in case of emergency, amongst other strategies.
We live in a globalized world and COVID-19 is part of this. It’s been two months since we learned about this new disease. Thanks to social media and the internet, we have been able to track how it has been spreading throughout the globe and outside of China in real time.
We have been warned that at some point, COVID will arrive to Puerto Rico. This public health emergency will bring changes to individuals and organizations.
Let’s use the tools we have to prepare in advance and protect ourselves.