3 Ways Positive Work Cultures Respond in a Crisis

#crisisresponse #culturecounts #workculture #workpositive Dec 10, 2023

The attention of the community in which I live was riveted by an apartment fire that affected a lot of lives. The cause is a mystery.

One family’s dog escaped and ran away. News outlets and Facebook posts carried his picture with pleas to find him. The family lost everything in the fire and now their family pet was missing, too.

Our community held its breath until he returned.

He did. Finally.

While we held our breath, we gave money, clothing, household items, bottled water, and anything else we could think of to help these families.

We chose how to respond.

While I pray such disaster avoids your area, you’ll most likely experience something similar. Perhaps not as catastrophic, but every community experiences something like this.

Your customers in your community keep your lights on, pay your mortgage, educate your children, and support you in your lifestyle. You receive much from them.

Your community discovers so much about your company culture at such times.

You choose how to respond.

Here are 3 Ways Positive Work Cultures Respond in a Crisis:

Be Present

The gift of presence—being there—is the most precious offering you can give in such times. Standing with a group and sitting beside someone communicates a compassionate caring that defies words.

You may need to close the business to be present, particularly at public events. Go ahead. You’ll make it back.

Or, you may discover staying open longer hours is the best way to be present, particularly if you are a retail or restaurant establishment where people naturally congregate. Give away something as an expression of your concern, preferably something that shares loving presence like teddy bears to children or coffee to adults. You’ll make it back.

Be Proactive

In such crisis moments, emotional overwhelm can shut you down. You’re paralyzed from picking up the phone. You’re frozen in front of the TV.

Shake off the enormous temptation for your imagination to surge ahead. Deal with now.

Pick up the phone and check on a client’s family. Send a text to a customer to get an update. Act immediately to gather information in a caring way. Such an extension beyond your own needs sends the message that you are involved and want to continue to be.

When the crisis is in another hometown where you don’t live, you may still have clients or customers with friends or family who do. Be proactive in contacting them as well.

Also, due to the personal images TV reporting brings into all our homes, we collectively feel some anxiety. Be proactive with those customers who can empathize with the tragedy, e.g., the experience touches anyone who lives in an apartment. They are imagining, “What if…” right now. Let them know you understand.

Be Persistent

Long after the cameras are gone, the nightmares continue.

Reach out six months from now and check in. An empathic “How are you doing?” when everyone else quit asking displays a level of caring few expect or give anymore.

Mark the date and send a card or make a call twelve months later to someone particularly affected.

Polite persistence in letting your clients know “I remember and care” moves your relationship from merely transactional to transformational.

Tap the power of these 3 Ways Positive Work Cultures Respond in a Crisis.

It’s good to give back.

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