Is Your CU Ready to Respond After a Disaster?

Create a plan to communicate your CU’s status in the aftermath of a disaster.

November 03, 2012
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When a disaster occurs, it’s often the misleading bit of information shared by an outsider that gins up rumors about a damaged business shutting down.

Obviously, this situation undermines the company’s ability to recover. That’s one big reason why precise, effective communication—within the organization and out to the public—is vital during an emergency.

With the Atlantic Hurricane season upon us—and Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast—it’s a good reminder to all organizations about the need to set up an effective crisis communications strategy.

You want to develop a plan to make sure your employees, customers, vendors, contractors—everyone you do business with—is aware of the progress you’re making as you recover in the aftermath of a disaster.

Here are a few tips to get your company’s crisis communications plan started:

After the crisis, notify all critical people of your next steps. Also, debrief with your staff to evaluate lessons learned and how to improve the plan.

For more information, consult this emergency preparedness checklist [PDF} from Agility Recovery, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.

CAROL CHASTANG is a community moderator for the Small Business Administration.

More on Crisis Comm

Ken Schroeder, VP-Business Continuity
October 30, 2012 9:39 am
Great points. If you don't had a good crisis comm plan and practice it regularly, I guarantee you will have serious problems in the heat of the moment. Here in Tallahassee we had a bank robbed, and the local TV station mobile truck was deployed, microwave antenna up pointing back to the station, a photogenic young reporter and a live camera out in front of the bank getting "eye-witness" reports BEFORE THE POLICE ARRIVED!!! Media management matters. That prompted me to put together an article on just that topic. Here's a link: http://www.creditunionbusiness.com/2011/10/21/managing-the-media-6-tips-to-communication-during-a-crisis/ Enjoy!

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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