In a nutshell: Internal communications are a key part of your emergency response planning. But many existing processes are out of date and fail to deliver at the critical moment. Using Workplace changes that.

Companies like Delta Air Lines, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, and Reliance General Insurance use Workplace to connect everyone with instant, global messaging and use smart tools to track and account for staff when things go wrong.

Emergency Response Planning

Your ability to communicate internally is an important factor in the success of your organization. But it’s a critical factor in the success of your emergency response plan.

And when only 14% of business leaders are happy with their organization’s ability to communicate and collaborate, it’s clear that weak internal communications could affect your ability to respond to the next disaster.

We’ve been thinking about this a lot as hurricane season continues to bring significant disruption to the south-east coast of the US and the Caribbean. At this difficult time, we’re inspired by companies finding ways to use Workplace to respond effectively to challenging emergency situations.

When traditional emergency response planning isn’t good enough

You’ve completed your risk assessment. You’ve identified hazards and threats and you’ve written your plan. But how ready are your communications tools for a real test?

Many emergency communications plans rely on phone trees, email lists, and text services. Yet these traditional modes of communication aren’t always effective in an emergency response situation. They’re inefficient and they often lack up to date information on your personnel. This can cause major gaps in your ability to alert and keep track of everyone.

Email lists are a particularly interesting example. A recent study identified that internal emails are a poor way to communicate with large groups of people. Data suggests that recipients only open internal comms emails about half (55%) of the time. That’s a disappointing number on a normal day. But it’s a potentially damaging number when you’re trying to contact employees and account for them in the event of an incident.

Using Workplace to communicate emergencies more effectively

Workplace connects everyone in your organization. In the event you need to implement your emergency response plan, you can use Workplace to access a real-time and accurate record of your current users. Your data is up to date so your messages are highly visible to all employees.

You can send your emergency or incident messages to specific company-wide groups. Users can share and amplify your message organically so more people see and respond to your alerts. And Workplace Groups help your emergency team members to mobilize and manage your response.

“Workplace was the natural channel to use when we needed quick, reliable and mobile comms to our teams.”

We’ve seen our customers use the Workplace platform to create new tools to manage emergency situations. They’ve used the open platform to design powerful bots to help them share emergency-critical information. And they’ve used the collaborative nature of Workplace groups to mobilize thousands of volunteers and organize relief efforts.

Following Hurricane Irma, Delta Air Lines was able to use Workplace to coordinate their disaster response and real-time communications. They also used Safety Officer to account for Tampa Customer Engagement Center employees. Charisse Evans at Delta said: “Workplace was the natural channel to use when we needed quick, reliable and mobile comms to our teams. And the real-time feedback from Safety Officer meant we could quickly track our people and coordinate our response.”

And following recent flooding in Mumbai, LTI (Larsen & Toubro Infotech) and Reliance General Insurance used Workplace to communicate updates on dinner arrangements for their employees. LTI also used the platform to broadcast messages from colleagues offering shelter to those who were stranded.

Where is everyone and are they safe?

Perhaps the most important question during a natural disaster or incident. And, because Workplace is open to developers, our customers have built new tools that can help give you quick answers.

The Safety Officer App for Workplace takes the friction out of accounting for people during a crisis or incident. It allows your crisis management teams to alert people in real-time and check their status.

In a mobile-first world where most people have a smartphone or a computer, companies can notify people based on their location straight to mobile phones. They should be able to ask people to “check in” to confirm their location and whether they’re safe.

 

This way, you can run a simple report to show who has checked in and what their status is. Your crisis management teams now have the information they need to make decisions about keeping people safe. And you know the list is accurate because you used Workplace to collate the names.

Two ways Safety Officer will help you manage emergencies

Natural disaster: Safety Officer can send a notification through Work Chat to all employees in affected locations and ask whether they are safe. You can prompt people to update their location using GPS data on their phone. So within minutes, you have a list of the live status of everyone.

Employees who travel: Members of your mobile workforce can find themselves in a location where an incident occurs. When this happens you send your alert through Safety Officer, and your mobile employees check in to show their status and location.

Safety first

Workplace is building a place for the world to work together so organizations can connect and use smarter tools. Challenges which are important when things are going well. And which can be critical to your emergency response when things go wrong.

Find out how others use Workplace to bring people together across their organizations, and join Workplace for a free 90-day trial right here.

Or take a look how Service Rocket’s Safety Officer can help you send corporate safety alerts to anyone on Workplace. Easily target groups, locations or offices in minutes and account for your employees during and after an incident.

Related links

Our thoughts and best wishes go to everyone affected by recent emergencies. Here are two ways to help:

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

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