Crisis management plans are being updated with new forms of crisis management technology. An increase in terror attacks around the world, from the recent horrific attacks in Paris and Istanbul all the way back to the earth-shattering events of 9/11 and the London 7/7 bombings, has left all global companies needing to reassess how they look after their employees.
The most important part of this crisis management is know who and how many employees are on short or long term assignments, particularly in risky locations. A 2014 PwC survey suggested that of the 193 organizations they surveyed, a third of this number weren’t aware of this information. This is a worrying figure.
Technology, however, is here to help. In the aftermath of a crisis, telecommunication networks are overwhelmed, so the typically manual methods of locating employees can prove difficult. Employees on assignment will not inform home offices of their every movement, and as such may place themselves in or out of danger unknowingly. Cloud technology is aiding this issue: cloud-based talent mobility systems allow employees to update their own contact information 24/7, as well as send and receive needed information. From this, in a mere matter of hours HR divisions can arrange temporary housing, notify families and ultimately alleviate any panic from the clicks of a few buttons.
Such technology isn’t just proving useful for those who are on corporate assignment. Facebook released a Safety Check feature in 2015 that allows those in the same location as a crisis, such as the Paris terror attacks, to mark themselves as safe almost immediately. While a more personal thing, such a feature can still prove useful in the corporate world.
HR has typically been responsible for ensuring safety and tracking employees on assignment, but with the number of international assignments growing, this responsibility needs to shift to the individual. As a part of maintaining a calm and reasoned response to a crisis, employees need to alert their home office via these cloud-based talent management systems of their safety. Should they need assistance in the form of housing, medical care or insurance matters, HR can be on hand to help, rather than frantically manually searching for many hundreds of people amongst an overwhelmed communications system. These challenges are only going to increase, and its everyone’s responsibility to ensure they’re handled in the right way.