Q1) How should organizations use issues management techniques to prevent an organizational crisis?
Ans) An issue arises when there is loss of control in the organisation. To solve these issues organisations have Issues management techniques and issues management team to apply the techniques into the real situation. The goal of issues management is to ensure that the policies of the company stay aligned with its objectives, to gain public support for the company during a crisis, because with out public support it will be hard for a company to control a crisis situation. The techniques used for crisis management are as follows.
1) Issue identification
2) Issue analysis
3) Issue strategy options
4) Issues action programming
As soon as an issue arises, the first step a crisis manger should do is to identify the issue and to classify it according to its nature. After identifying the issue, the managers should analyse it in both its qualitative and quantitative manner, so that the fresh data's collected from the analysis can be used to make judgments and prioritize. After prioritizing the issues, they have to find the strategy options. There are mainly two types of issue change strategies.
Reactive strategy is trying to stop the issue even before it reaches the conference room by lobbying.
While adaptive strategy means, developing strategies when the issue goes on and adapting to it with innovation. Issues action programming and evaluation are the last two steps in issues management.
Issues action programming means that the organisation formulates policies to support the goals, and
objectives of the company which might have been affected by the issue. It also involves the process of communicating key messages to the appropriate manager or personal. Finally the issue is evaluated and monitored in the future to see if the same issue might arise, if so to take measures to prevent it.
Q2) How does organizational culture impact on crisis communication and crisis management?
Ans) Crisis is a state in which the company has lost its equilibrium in any of its subsystems which was working to reach a particular goal or objective or even threatens the company's very existence. An organizationís culture is a set of values and beliefs with which the company and its employees work.
In a crisis situation, it is important to understand who all will be making the decisions in the upper levels of the company's management. When communicating in a crisis situation, the person handling the particular information should have a clear idea about who to approach to make decisions or to get things done. This is when the culture of an organization actually plays its role in allowing information to flow, that is when the information passes through the different layers of management to reach the person in charge. In a crisis situation, it is difficult to transfer information quickly and accurately. In such situations, there should always be a quick way for the lower level managers to reach the upper level management with out getting the information stuck in the middle level.
Culture of an organization also changes the way its employees think and react to a situation. Trust is also an important factor in the culture of an organization. Employees and managers should have an element of trust within them, so that classified information can be shared within the company and still
can be retained within the company itself. Employees will know exactly where information should be passed and to which manager, to deal with issues.
Q3) Identify five most important aspects of communication in a crisis.
a) Donít deny or hide that cannot be hidden.
b) Quick action to solve the crisis and reducing media attention.
c)Have to think long term, as strategies used to solve crisis now, can also be involved in future to improve trust and reputation
d) Should to be open and reliable, but have to be careful to maintain a constructive distance.
e) Never stop monitoring issues, as you may never know when the next one might arise.
It is clear that these 20 people had food poisoning after having food from Mckenzie's food outlets. The first thing that we have to do is to accept the issue as our mistake.
Identification of the key stakeholders
The key stakeholders in this issue are as follows.
1) The people who ate the hamburgers
2) The CEO of Mckenzie Hamburgers
3) The regular customers of the company
4) Company which supplies meat to all the outlets of Mckenzie Hamburgers
5) Employees working in the outlets
6) New customers.
The people who ate the hamburgers and got food poisoning are the main stakeholders in this case. CEO
of Mckenzie hamburgers are the second most important stakeholder as he will have to give answers to the public regarding the incident. Regular customers of the company will hesitate to buy hamburgers from Mckenzie's as they would fear the same could happen to them as well. Mckenzie Hamburgers can blame the meat suppliers as they are the ones who supplied the rotten meat to the stores. Employees working in the outlets are also stakeholders. New customers who wanted to try out the hamburgers from Mckenzie's would now think twice before going, as this incident has affected the company's reputation.
Crisis management plan.
As part of the crisis management plan, we will have to make a crisis management team. After the team is formed, we need to collect the information and follow a strategic plan according to the datas collected.
The role of crisis team.
1) Closing down of stores :
This will help in further causing damage to the public and to the company.
2) Remuneration for the victims:
By giving remuneration to the victims, we can regain the customers trust and relationship.
3) Addressing the media:
The CEO of the company will have to address the media to apologize to the public for the inconvenience caused.
4) Finding the actual cause:
Contacting the supplier of the meat to understand more on what has happened.
CEO of the company will be addressing the public about the incident. He will have to apologize to the public as the first step to correct their mistake. He will have to ask the public not to consume any food items from their store until further notifications have been given. After that, he will have to give a post crisis strategy, saying that they would increase the quality of food being produced in their stores. Making sure that the meat is good before it reaches the stores. Telling the media that they will be giving remuneration to the victims involved in the incident.