Nunca dejes que una buena crisis se desperdicie

Publicación de blog del Comité de Riesgos de GBTA - Abril de 2021

Las emergencias ocurren sin previo aviso, como nos recordó el reciente desastre de la tormenta de hielo en Texas. ¿Tiene su empresa un plan para apoyar al personal cuando se enfrenta a este tipo de crisis?

Si bien la mayoría de las empresas tienen un plan de emergencia ante desastres en el sitio, estos planes generalmente no abordan el trabajo flexible o remoto. Con el impacto de la pandemia en los posibles aumentos en la viabilidad del trabajo remoto, saber cómo apoyar a esa creciente fuerza de trabajo remota durante una crisis se está convirtiendo en un aspecto importante de la planificación de emergencia ante desastres.

La pérdida económica debido a un desastre natural en los EE. UU. para 2020 fue $95 mil millones y el impacto económico de los eventos recientes en Texas se estiman en $200 mil millones o más.  You may be asking what does this mean for my company and what can we do to help our employees be safe and productive? Outlined below are four key areas of focus when initiating a plan to assist your company and employees.

Preparación: Traditionally, a typical safety plan would include details for office closure, securing property and information, keeping the lines of communication open, etc.  For the remote worker, while the same is true, plans should have flexibility and with an eye toward preparedness. If a natural disaster is being predicted, a company might begin allowing employees working in the office to start working from home days in advance. This allows an organization to focus on making sure employees are able to organize their office and home in advance so they are better prepared.  A reoccurring story heard from individuals impacted by the Texas storms was people simply didn’t believe it would be that bad. Why would they? The impact of these storms was unprecedented and past experiences were always less severe than the warnings suggested.  Whether the impact is more or less devastating than the warnings, organizations and individuals should always lean to the side of preparation.

Comunicación:  Advanced preparation includes communicating with your employees on emergency protocols for their workspace, whether at home, working remotely, or while traveling. Be sure to have questions prepared. Has the employee thought about what they will do if they do lose power? Do they have options for an alternative workplace if this happens? Do they have enough supplies to be home for a few days? Have they thought of what they will do if it is necessary to evacuate?  Asking your employees to think about these questions help identify the options available to help support them.  You may also share the Ready.Gov resource with employees to help identify what to have on hand in case of a disaster situation.  Make sure to keep in regular contact with employees throughout all steps of the process: before, during, and after and communicate a plan for daily safety checks.

Un paso importante durante cualquier crisis es Empatía.  While we hear lots of stories of support from companies in handling of the impact of a disaster on employees, organizations needs to recognize and acknowledged a shift in expectations of their staff in times of disaster.  Power outages, damaged lines, evacuations can all impact an individual’s ability to be online & responsive to the demands of the job. When a company responds with flexibility and understanding, employees are able to focus on their immediate necessities and are able to return to work faster and with less stress, which is good for morale and employee retention.

En cualquier desastre, el Recuperación processes happen in waves.  Organizations should realize that returning to work may not be like turning on a switch.  Companies should be prepared to offer assistance and guidance at all step in the process, and to provide regular communication. Be sure to share company policies and guidelines and to remind staff of available resources regularly.  Does your company provide a list of approved temporary co-working spaces or Wi-Fi accessible businesses? Are there benefits the organization offers that might help an employee return to work faster?  Are security protocols in place to prevent malware when working remote?

When it comes to natural disasters, the old adage “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” may be the most effective way for your organization to plan for disaster.  Natural disasters can impact anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Having a plan in place will help give employees and companies the best chance at a quick and smooth recovery.