Planning for the unexpected: What happens if your staff can’t get in?

Most companies have simple polices around who you need to tell if you are sick usually the line manger or the Human Resources department but when there is wide-scale disruption these people may not be available either.
Here is a simple checklist of things to consider
  • If staff can’t get into your offices then they need to know the nearest alternative address they should report to, if you are a retail outlet this may be the nearest shop but if you have a series of disbursed offices where do you want them to go. 

  • If your establishment is closed and they can’t access their line manager or the HR department do you have an alternative out of hours and emergency number preferably in a different location that you want them to ring and how often will you update this information to ensure staff always know who to contact

  • If your premises are going to be long-term disabled as for example after a fire how will you contact staff  to tell them what to do next, many companies only have personnel records on site so would have no way to contact staff in an emergency

  • Many companies take home and mobile phone information from staff when they join, but how regularly is that updated. No point is having a phone list off site if it is hopelessly out of date

  • What are the emergency command and control rules? If the MD is not available who takes over is it another Director or is there a risk group that swings into action when things go wrong, who is in the group, how do they contact each other and what contingencies should be in place if for whatever reason that isn’t a real solution in the circumstances

  • Do you have a facebook or linked in site that your staff can contact for information and who is allowed to update it, so that false rumours and gossip don’t appear on it.

  • Sometimes it’s not clear how dangerous a situation is for example if there is a mob outside your establishment is it better to keep staff inside or let them out possibly to fend for themselves on the street. You need clear guidance on who should be making these crucial decisions

  • Lastly you need to provide guidance for staff on what you want them to do in really serious situations if for example someone is looting do you want some of them to stay – perhaps the security staff and protect your property and if so what training will you provide for them or will you take the view that personal safety is more important  and ask them to evacuate