How quickly can you confirm worker safety in a crisis?

Still to this day we talk to reputable and large organisations, where safety, crisis and continuity representatives can’t convince their leaders of the limitations of call trees in times of pandemic / crisis.

We’ve put together the following to help out.

Conversations about Business Continuity, Crisis Management and Worker Safety are becoming more commonplace within organisations following recent events like the Christchurch and Kaikoura Earthquakes, Work and Income shooting, Whakaari White Island, and Covid19.

Shifting Safety, Business Continuity and Crisis communication conversations to the Board room is something we’ve been passionate about for a long time.

The reality though, is that we still see massive improvements that organisations can make. Most organisations agree that these improvements could be made, but aren’t aware that in many cases, these improvements can come at a reduction in overall costs, while making prevention, preparation, response and recovery activities considerably more effective.

One example of the this is the persistence of call trees as a crisis communication practice.

For those that aren’t aware, calls trees are comprised of numerous lists, including the phone numbers of all contacts that need to be called in the event of an incident or crisis.

Each person has a “manageable” number of contacts that they need to call to confirm their safety, inform them of what’s happened and advise them of how they need to respond.

Starting at the top, one person initiatives the process by calling the people on their list, who will in turn call the people on theirs, and so on until all staff, contractors and suppliers have been contacted.

What a waste of time!

So, what’s so wrong with this?

We did a quick modelling exercise in LINQ for a 2,500 person call tree. Accounting for a ten-minute call with everyone on the list, remembering that during this call there’s often a considerable amount of information that needs to be relayed. 

Details of the event, the effect of the event on the organisation, the contact’s safety, the safety of their loved ones and how this might impact their ability to contribute to response efforts and/or get back to work, how work is going to continue in cases where physical and/or remote access is hindered, next steps and communication practices until things get back to normal.

All this and we haven’t even had a chance yet to talk about the wellbeing of the person we’re talking to and any support they may need to get through.

This 2,500 person call tree, accounting for some missed calls and retries, costs the organisation nearly $68,000 and consumes 969 FTE hours.

If that’s not bad enough, we also need to consider that the person that requires the most help and is in the most dangerous situation, may be one of the last people on the list. As on organisation, we could have invested 900 or more hours on the phone, before we get to this person.

Places call trees are found lacking?

What are we doing about it?

“In times of crisis, reduction in the time it takes to move from Response to Recovery phase, can make all the difference in terms of the long-term impact on the organisation

First of all, we need to move our conversation about business continuity, worker safety and crisis management from one akin to obtaining insurance and put our people at the heart of process.

How we look after our people in times of crisis says a great deal about us. Done really well, people will dig deep to drive recovery efforts, done poorly, people start looking for the exit, along with customers that they talk to.

One very simple step you can take to put people first, is to put processes in place that reduce the time it takes to determine whether your people need help.

As illustrated earlier, a 2,500-person organisation invests close to 1,000 hours of effort to determine the safety/wellbeing of its people using call trees. That same organisation, using a tool like Whispir, can achieve the

same in 27 hours, saving $66,000 in human effort in the process.

Imagine the difference for the last person contacted in each of these scenarios.

Not only have you managed to confirm the status of all people 35 times faster with Whispir, but you know that everyone has received the same message with the same information, and you have records that confirm that no-one has been missed.

Further, this message can be delivered in rich format including options for video messages direct from your leaders. Messages can be sent across multiple channels, including Rich SMS, email, social, even voice; ensuring that the channel that works best for your people is used.

What are we doing about it?

The business case for an Omni-channel communications platform for call tree replacement stacks up on its own. Imagine the return if you were to rapidly model your current processes across all your BC / Safety and Crisis processes.

With more than 10 years working with some of Australasia’s largest Public Safety Agencies and enterprises, Scott has seen the benefits that platforms like Whispir can deliver, not only in times of crisis, and not only in relation to business continuity, worker safety and crisis communications. Whispir also offers enormous benefits in workforce and customer engagement, especially in organisations where your people/customers/citizens don’t have regular access to or prefer not to use email.

There are several communications platforms available. Having tested Whispir against the other “leaders” in enterprise level tender responses (and won), we know Whispir to be the most reliable and feature rich of all of them. Its no-code workflow tool, omni-channel and multi-lingual capabilities, and robust API set it aside from the usual/traditional “one-way” communication platforms.

Don’t take our word for it though, let us come and rapidly model the business case for a better way of communicating using LINQ. LINQ is the best tool we’ve seen for the rapid capture of your current state when you want to be able to determine risk associated with failure of any part of the system and iterate more effective and efficient ways of doing things digitally.

Let us help you shift the conversation from “wanting” a better way of doing things, to providing the business case. Just because there’s massive benefits to people from this change, doesn’t mean it can’t come at a reduction in overall cost.

we are Fill The Gap

With the best processes and tools to enable your journey to Digital Enablement. Our Adaptive Portfolio Management system will ensure you get the value you expect from change projects. Our best-in-class Australasian built software will help you locate, understand and leverage the data that drives your business.

we are Fill The Gap

With the best processes and tools to enable your journey to Digital Enablement. Our Adaptive Portfolio Management system will ensure you get the value you expect from change projects. Our best-in-class Australasian built software will help you locate, understand and leverage the data that drives your business.

Our software partners

We don’t sell, we partner with our clients to identify opportunities to accelerate their Digital Enablement journey. Often that results in one of our world-class solutions adding value, other times it provides our clients with better content to source solutions elsewhere. We’re happy either way.

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