Creating a crisis-resilient organisation: After COVID-19, are you prepared for the next crisis?

29 Jun 2020
Annabel Lee

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on the global business ecosystem, from supply chain disruptions, oil prices crashing, increased demand for e-commerce, and of course, imposed travel restrictions. As most parts of Asia are moving towards market recovery, there’s no time like now to assess how your organisation responded to ensure you’re prepared for whatever may come next.

According to the EY Global Risk Survey 2020, 79% of board members state their organisations are not very well prepared to deal with a crisis event. Here are a few considerations when assessing your company’s crisis preparedness.


Organisations are nothing without their people

How well did your organisation extend support to employees and consider their wellbeing throughout the crisis? From the flexibility of work-from-home arrangements to ensuring employees remain healthy and motivated, these are essential elements for a productive workforce. Providing opportunities for social engagement and guaranteeing transparent communication are some of the ways to build a strong culture of employee engagement during isolation.


Organisations require a resilient business model

What are the possible ways to reduce costs, in the short, medium and long term? When a crisis has significant financial impact, determine how your organisation’s budgets and business plans are affected. Prevent the panic by stress-testing financial plans for various possible scenarios to understand the potential impact on your organisation’s business performance and the duration of its implications. Review all operating costs and consider reducing nonessential expenses to ensure better adaptability and resilience should another crisis arise.


Organisations must recognise the value of partnerships

Building a network of trusted and supportive partners with valuable connections and mutual respect can allow opportunities for meaningful collaboration in a crisis environment. Our Sinclair Arts team were some of the people behind ART Power HK, a collaborative not-for-profit campaign with partners from across Hong Kong’s art community that worked towards maintaining momentum for the arts after a number of events were cancelled during Hong Kong’s Art Month. Such partnerships allow organisations to emerge stronger, more flexible and better positioned for future success.


Organisations should have a crisis communications plan in place

In the fast-moving world of integrated PR, it is imperative that organisations remain alert and responsive to issues as they arise. Regularly monitor the dynamics of the organisation and the market to detect and identify potential threats. Develop a strategy to address each type of threat and have a protocol in place that appoints decision makers and outlines actions that can be implemented immediately. Whether it’s a brand misstep on social media or a customer relations issue, an immediate and appropriate response is required for any crisis, big or small.

Preparation has always been the key to success. As the global economy continues to brace the effects of COVID-19, it is never too early to assess and re-assess your organisation’s response to the next crisis.


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