Avoiding Communication Breakdown – the Key to Surviving Business Disruption

Nov 20


Malcolm Hafner

Malcolm Hafner

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Every business has experienced disruption on some level. There are a variety of factors that could affect business to the point of disrupting the daily operation of work. When this happens, no one is happy.


It does not matter if the business is a small mom and pop style company or a large corporation. Business disruption means lost revenues,Avoiding Communication Breakdown – the Key to Surviving Business Disruption Articles unhappy clients, irritated suppliers, and often panic.

What can cause a business disruption?

* This may be a simple power outage that prevents computers, phones and other business tools from functioning.
* A computer failure can cause a business to be completely unable to function because nearly every business today is completely reliant on computers for their information.
* A key employee or owner having poor health or expiring unexpectedly can create a business disruption.
* Economic downturn can cause production to cease for any given number of reasons. This could be an inability to sell products, bankruptcy or various other causes.
* Employee strikes can cause a serious business disruption. When this occurs even employees that are willing to work may be unable to do so safely.

Communication Can Be Difficult

Communication is key in nearly every situation. This can be a problem if there are business disruptions such as power outages or computer breakdowns. For this reason you must have a plan for communication during such situations. Informing every one of the disruption and its cause is the first order of business. If your main mode of communication is email and your computer or power goes down, this can create an additional problem.

Because technology has caused most businesses to be virtually dependent upon it for efficient functioning, when it ceases to work business men and women sometimes find that they have a difficult time reverting back to archaic methods.

Always Have a Backup Plan

Most businesses today have a plan in place to operate even when power failures occur. This can be a simple generator or battery back up systems. However, the fact is that other businesses that you rely on may not have these types of systems in place. For that reason, you must have a plan in place to communicate both internally and externally.

This is where crisis management comes into play. A well prepared crisis communication policy will include methods of communication ranging from email, computer, fax, phone, and in the event of total failure personal verbal communication.

It is essential that all parties involved receive clear concise communication regarding the business disruption, a tentative schedule for resuming normal business, and the events that should occur in the meantime. Any crisis management plan that is successful will spend much effort in the area of crisis communication. Those affected by the business disruption will be much more cooperative and understanding if they are kept informed. It is a grave mistake to eliminate anyone completely from the communications loop as it creates animosity and will work against the ultimate goals.