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Different Journeys, Same Preparation

19 Dec. 2017 Posted by aadams

Ted Uczen, FEI President and CEO

I have two daughters in college in two different states. One is four and a half hours away, the other an hour and a half.

The daughter who is further away has her own car and drives back and forth between school and home. The daughter who is closer will often get a ride with a friend who lives nearby. The end of the first semester is always an interesting time: Both girls are eager to wrap up classes, finish exams and head home. Mom and dad are eager for their return home, as well, but we always worry about their safety and security, especially when the weather can change at any moment.

As we prepared for this annual event, I began thinking about the fact that both girls got the same safety and preparedness speech—even though their journeys were different lengths with different risks. Both were told to check in with mom and I at the start of the journey and any stops along the way. Both were reminded to tell us if plans changed, or if they ran into bad weather or car troubles. Both were reminded to have their AAA cards ready, and to have their travel essentials—water, blankets, hats, gloves, first aid kit, etc.—in the car just in case. Both were . . . well, you get the picture. You’ve probably heard or given the speech yourself!

So what’s my point? In the end, it didn’t matter that one daughter’s journey was long and the other’s was short, one was on rural highways and one was on the interstate, one was traveling alone and one was traveling with friends. Same speech, same drill! It made me wonder why we don’t take the same approach when thinking about preparing our businesses and employees for challenges and crisis events that may come our way.

Regardless of size or number of employees a business has, preparation for dealing with a crisis should be the same. Every business needs a plan in place; every employee must understand the plan, including the approach and their individual role; and every business and employee should regularly practice executing the plan in the event of a crisis.

Whether it’s a large-scale event like a natural disaster or an active shooter, or a small-scale event like a power outage in one building or flooding caused by a plumbing problem, rigor and consistency should be part of planning, preparing, reacting and following-up. In the same way you take the proper steps to prepare your family, you should also prepare your business and your employees.

This holiday season, take the time to make sure your company and employees are prepared for whatever journey, big or small, may lie ahead. Our girls made it home safe and sound; here’s to hoping that you and yours (business and family) are always safe and sound.

Have a peaceful and joyous holiday season, and a resilient 2018!

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