In many organizations today, responsibility for crisis management and communication is shifting from facility managers to human resources (HR) professionals. In fact, more and more, HR is the first contact channel – the group everyone in the organization turns to in an emergency to ensure all employees are safe and accounted for.
Why the shift? The reasons are many and varied, including:
- In corporate crises, departmental and/or geographical emergency mass notification is inefficient.
- Emergency response policies and procedures need to be developed and deployed company-wide. HR is uniquely positioned to do exactly that.
- When personnel move departments, they can be confused about emergency protocol. Centralization of procedures via HR can increase clarity.
- To maximize reaction to and recovery from emergencies, companies need comprehensive post-crisis analysis. That requires a common set of data and reports, which HR can readily facilitate.
- Data accuracy is critical to alerting personnel. Typically, HR’s data repository is the most comprehensive and reliable source of information.
Unfortunately, HR faces daunting obstacles in its new role. Chief among them: Crisis management is now more difficult due to the increasing number of remote and geographically dispersed personnel. According to Forbes magazine, up to 45% of all employees work from home or are 100% virtual. Gartner Research puts the number at 60%.
No one can make HR’s security challenges go away. Quite simply, there is no magic safety wand. But equipped with advanced crisis communication and geo-location, the security picture is improving.
Good news for HR – and all of us. Get the whole story here.