When a disaster strikes, communication with your employees must happen to ensure the safety of everyone in the company. Whether it is an office closure due to a power outage, an active assailant on the premises or the looming threat of a natural disaster, employers must be prepared to equip their organizations with the proper communication tools.
A mass notification system with two-way communication features can quickly and effectively relay information to employees by SMS texting, emails, voice calls, and more.
Communication saves lives. Integrating systems that work seamlessly together can help prevent damage and disaster, both for your bottom line and your people.
Most employers are aware that fire alarms, PA systems, SMS alerts, digital signs and pager systems exist to aid in emergency communications. However, not every business uses them to their full potential. In addition, many of these systems are not comprehensive enough to be effective.
Defining two-way communication
Two-way communication is simple — it is a conversation that involves two parties, one sending messages, and one receiving them.
The benefit of two-way communication during emergencies is that instead of one message being sent out into the world in the hopes that someone may see it, this form of communication ensures information is delivered promptly. Organizations can tap into their emergency resources and help employees feel secure through easy access to information.
During emergencies, two-way communication enables real-time information alerts. With the ability to send and receive critical news, employees can feel safer and more secure on the job.
Why two-way communication is critical to disaster preparation
One-way communications often leave employees with questions about emergency policies and procedures. Emergency managers are also left to wonder if the elements they have implemented are working.
There is no doubt about it — emergencies create confusion. They are chaotic and often dangerous. One-way communications and alerts can cause false information to circulate amongst staff because there is no clear source of truth.
Collecting responses from your employees is also an important and necessary part of a comprehensive communications platform. By implementing two-way communications, employers can collect feedback and other important data about emergency planning and preparation.
During emergencies, they can help employers know who has received messages so that they can target and help those who may be in danger.
Emergencies are complex
Emergency managers or human resource personnel may not always be on-site when a disaster happens. They may be tasked with the responsibility of conveying important information to employees hundreds of miles away.
Emergencies are not a one-size-fits-all approach either. No two disasters are the same, so emergency planning should be adaptable enough to meet the needs of the movement. There should be a solid foundation that targets emergency-specific elements — such as duck and cover drills for earthquakes or evacuation routes for hurricanes — but each scenario will bring its own list of challenges to tackle.
To take effective action, key stakeholders must be able to understand what is happening on the ground to coordinate effective responses. Having the account of eyewitnesses can do a lot more for emergencies than second-hand news outlets. By collecting vital pieces of information, employers can make informed decisions about their employees’ safety, no matter the emergency.
Two-way communication features for the modern business
There is a wide range of emergencies businesses can face. From power outages to system failures, and even more devastating situations like natural disasters, businesses constantly face risks when they do not prepare themselves for appropriate disaster response and recovery plans.
Such a plan would need to tailor itself to how employees communicate today to ensure there is no confusion. A modern system would be able to effectively deliver alerts with capabilities such as:
- Confirmations: with time-sensitive events, those who receive emergency alerts can confirm they have received the message, assuring employers that their messages are being picked up by the right people.
- Wellness checks: a two-way communications system can provide survey features that allow employers to conduct wellness check surveys. Following emergency events, employers can reach out to their employees to make sure they are safe and accounted for.
- Conference calls: get key stakeholders on the same page with conference calls via two-way communication features. Face-to-face meetings are not always possible. During an emergency, when things need to happen fast, these key stakeholders can get together and determine the best course of action that is likely to produce the best, and safest, outcome.
- Event alerts: even in non-emergency, yet significant events, a two-way communications tool would allow employers and their employees to provide a single source of information. This reduces confusion and provides employees access to everything they need during a significant event.
Ways to alert employees during an emergency
Some mass notification platforms, such as the one offered by Rave Mobile Safety, come with additional communication abilities for the fastest, most efficient, alerts.
Multilingual emergency alerts
Multilingual features give employees the ability to choose the language they would like to receive alerts. If someone’s first language is not English, they could still receive critical alerts during an emergency.
Social media emergency alerts
The benefit of sending emergency alerts to employees on social media platforms is the possibility of reaching more people and providing links to important information on safety protocols and procedures. Including a web page full of detailed information in your emergency planning can help ensure employees get a better understanding of what is happening.
Businesses can alert employees with just the click of a button, but oftentimes alerting remote employees or traveling employees [link to employee travel blog] can be a challenge. Giving system administrators the ability to send safety alerts to devices off-site keeps employees safer.
Alerting Employees in Sequential Order
A comprehensive communications platform with the ability to segment employee databases by role, location, or other attributes means that businesses can alert employees with more accurate data. By just alerting specific groups of employees who are affected by the emergency, fear and panic are greatly reduced.
Being able to alert employees in an emergency sequentially or in groups can mitigate harm.
Implementing a two-way communications system into your organization’s safety plan
Two-way communication is a must for effective safety planning. Emergency managers and other safety personnel can increase their situational awareness of what is happening in real-time, as well as provide help to those affected.
Two-way communications tools can be a lifeline for employees, so to keep everyone safe and connected, choosing a mass communications technology platform with two-way communication features can protect your employees.
To learn more about implementing two-way communication technology into your own business, click here.