Crisis management training should not be limited to crisis planning, disaster readiness, or risk management teams. A crisis can hit any employee at any time and there are situations everyone should think about and plan for. Empower your employees with a variety of crisis management training videos so they will be prepared to handle the situation.
A crisis is a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. Crisis management is the process by which you deal with this intense, difficult, dangerous, disruptive event. Organizations with a full library of training videos, like what ej4 offers, can help employees plan for, prevent, and manage a wide variety of crises both personal and professional.
Crisis Management Training and Planning Experience
In my 25+ years of working, I have been involved in a variety of crisis management and planning teams. It can be an uncomfortable and time-consuming process but it also provides lessons you can apply in your own life.
- While working for the St. Louis Cardinals, I was a member of the crisis management committee comprised of employees from the front office, clubhouse, stadium, and foodservice operations. Our three-inch binder documented the response plans of all departments should there be a fire, earthquake, bomb threat, etc. during a live event.
- During my time with a cable company, we were purchased by Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft), went through an IPO, and bought 13 smaller cable companies. We had many change management challenges as the scope of our projects wildly increased while the timelines remained the same. My SVP used the term “crisis management mode” regularly and we had weekly “crisis management” team meetings.
- Prior to joining ej4, I worked for a nutritional supplement manufacturer. I was part of a “Disaster Recovery Team” who was responsible for documenting our response plan for a scenario in which our headquarters office was destroyed. Each department had to explain how we would continue operations to communicate to customers, source materials, make the product, and fulfill orders.
Traditional Crisis Management Training
When you mention crisis management training, I think most people think about natural disasters and emergencies like a tornado, hurricane, flood, or fire. The reality is a crisis can take many forms and affect us both professionally and personally. At a high level, the organization should have a more structured plan for responding and business continuity but all employees could benefit from some basic training.
Our series on crisis management covers all the topics you would traditionally expect:
- Preparing for crises
- Responding to natural disasters
- Responding to emergencies
- Business continuity
- Media inquiries
Crisis Training and Planning Topics
Crisis training can also help with temporary, minor emergencies that feel like a crisis in the moment like when an employee leading a major project gives their notice they are leaving the company. With a full library of off-the-shelf videos, managers and department heads can identify the courses best suited for the unique needs of their teams. A big part of crisis management is crisis prevention, risk management, and planning.
Lately, a day barely passes without a news story of sexual harassment or discrimination. Experts estimated it cost Starbucks over $10 million when they shut down for “racial-bias education.” Investing in compliance training and creating a safe and inclusive culture might have helped prevent these very public and costly crises.
Anti-harassment training topics could include:
- Writing and communicating an anti-harassment policy
- Investigating complaints
- Understanding offenders and targets
- Bystander training
- Warning signs
Anti-discrimination training topics could include:
- Unconscious bias
- The protected classes
- Working well with everyone
- Managing diversity
- Cultural considerations
Individually, employees will have varying levels of interest in disaster preparedness. Some will be proactive and have emergency kits or “go bags” in their cars and have supplies at home like non-perishable food, bottled water, generators, etc. Other employees will have none of these. Employers need to take the responsibility of training employees with some basic knowledge should a disaster occur in the workplace. Topics include:
- First aid
- Emergency exits
- Fire extinguisher
- Preparing for crises
Planning for a pandemic or health crisis has become top-of-mind in light of the coronavirus outbreak in China. It’s important to be proactive and train employees on the proper precautions to take for prevention and to plan for business continuity in the event of quarantines. Pandemic planning and training topics include:
- Common sense hygiene
- Pandemic Planning
- Preparing for a pandemic
- Internal and external communications
- Illness in the office
- Business continuity
I was surprised when my SVP at the cable company used the term “crisis” in reference to our day-to-day work. When you are managing a large project with your reputation on the line and a key stakeholder quits or a vendor misses a deadline, you need to be able to manage through the crisis. Once a crane fell on the HBO offices in New York and they had to evacuate on the exact day their lawyers were supposed to give me final approval on a direct mail piece. I had to manage my timeline around the delay. Luckily I had received excellent project management training and I had padded my timeline. Other helpful project management training topics include:
- Project management
- Change management
- Time management
- Persuasive communication
- Communicating with the C-Suite
It feels like everyone has been a victim of a data breach. Personally, I just redeemed a coupon with Zappos because of a class action settlement from a past data breach. I also have free monitoring with Experian because of their breach. If you want to make your best efforts to avoid a technology crisis, cybersecurity training is a topic for all employees not just your IT department. Topics would include:
- Protecting Your Mobile Device
- Email Phishing
- Identity Theft
- And more...
There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018, and over 5,000 deaths. Five thousand people went to work one day and never came home. I am sure safety training is already part of your existing training curriculum but these numbers add a level of solemnity when you consider the lives at stake. Not just the employees but also their families who must deal with the consequences of a workplace accident. Safety training topics that can prevent injury or death might include:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Ladder safety
- Electrical safety
- Safe driving
- Confined spaces
- Personal Protective Equipment
Workplace violence is defined as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite. Threats can come from coworkers, domestic partners, customers, vendors, criminals, etc. Training courses could help explain the situations that have the potential to lead to violence and in some cases, how to avoid those causes. Topics like:
- Opioid addiction for employees and managers
- Alcohol abuse
- Stress and burnout
- Mental health
- Active shooter situations
- Human trafficking
Empower your employees with crisis management training so they can handle any crisis that occurs. Partnering with a company like ej4 and using our off-the-shelf training videos gives you access to microlearning videos that can apply to a number of crisis situations. On a more positive note, this same library can support many other needs around communications, customer service, management, productivity, and much more. Sign up for a free trial of Thinkzoom, our learning management system, and access our full library of training content.
Watch a selection of videos from all of these topics mentioned:
Read related blog articles
- Coronavirus Precautions for Employees
- Pandemic Planning and Training for Employees
- Tips for Creating a Cybersecurity Training Program