This Halloween season, ghosts, vampires, witches and zombies will be out in force. But, what happens if ghouls knock on your door in the real world? Is your company ready for a zombie apocalypse to occur?
Many organizations aren’t prepared to handle that kind of widespread business disruption. Zombie-proof communications are critical to understanding how the attack is impacting the workforce and what adjustments should be made to keep the business going.
To get ready, below are a few tips on how to best communicate with your workforce during a zombie apocalypse:
- Be proactive, rather than reactive. Proactive communication heads off rumors, panic and misinformation, so don’t wait for employees to ask for information. Let them know you have a plan in place to keep them safe, what their options are for telecommuting, and what they can expect if an actual attack hits.
- Update employee contact information now. If you can only reach employees through their work phone or email, you have a problem. During a zombie attack, they may not have access to either one. Have your employees update all their contact information in your database, including personal mobile and home phone numbers, personal email accounts and other emergency contact information. Ideally, your communications system will automatically check for recent updates before sending out a critical message.
- Use multiple communication channels. On any normal workday, many of your employees may be working remotely, traveling on business or on vacation. During a zombie attack, up to 40 percent may be in hiding or quarantined away from home. You can’t rely on just one communication channel. Use a combination of landline, mobile phone, text messaging and email, and make sure your non-zombie employees know it’s you calling (if they’re already zombies, they won’t answer anyway). Otherwise, they may never pick up the phone or respond.
- Leverage two-way communication. While outbound communication is critical, it’s only half of the equation and doesn’t give you enough information to keep your business running. Give employees multiple ways to keep you informed of their status. For example, are they coming to work? Have they been infected? Are they taking care of loved ones that have been infected? Two-way text messaging is especially effective for brief status updates or to tell employees they can retrieve a new companywide update online or via voice message at their convenience.
- Don’t assume a single message will do the job. If an employee doesn’t answer, how do you know whether it’s because they’re a zombie or just briefly away from their phone? Sending a sequence of different messages across multiple channels that acknowledge previous communications can help. For example, consider sending a text message that references a previously unanswered phone call. Non-zombie employees will then understand why additional messages were sent and what action to take.
Let’s all hope that we never have to deal with actual zombies and that we don’t need Brad Pitt circa World War Z to come to our rescue. But, when your business faces any kind of disruption – a hurricane, flood, tornado, winter storm, etc. – having taken the steps above will help you be prepared. In the meantime, Happy Halloween and stay safe!