All too often we are finding ourselves faced with large scale man-made or natural disasters that literally impact the lives of thousands. Such events have the potential to disrupt a company’s business operations and employees. Once considered unusual, these episodic disasters are becoming more routine and a part of our life.
An interesting phenomenon takes place when such a disaster occurs. People and organizations around the globe want to help. They unite and rally around the immediate needs. What is it that drives companies and individuals to open their workplaces and wallets for strangers like earthquake survivors, victims of tornados, floods, landslides, winter storms, or other natural disasters? Is it out of sense of duty, business obligation, empathy, guilt, compassion, or something else?
The reasons are many. Companies are acting out of an altruistic interest in being a good corporate citizen, business reasons, or employee expectations. Employees are often driven by a genuine desire to help and doing it through the workplace allows them to join with others in a larger collective effort.
Experts say these kinds of acts of responding in a time of need, make people feel like they are part of something larger, and are energizing and emotionally rewarding. Studies show that when people get together and cooperate to do good deeds, it leads to positive feelings.
Research conducted by Liz Dunn, assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada discovered that people get an emotional high by participating with other people in a cause they care about. A team fundraiser or fund drive at the workplace helps create a feeling of excitement when joining with a group of colleagues in a united effort. These collective efforts, supported by the company, give people a more rewarding feeling than just entering a credit card number on an organization’s website.
Is it any wonder that employees are often the first to insist that their employer provide opportunities for them to help? In a matter of hours the expectation is that resources can be mobilized and employees engaged in making an impact on those affected by the disaster.
One would do well to consider this question, is your company prepared to respond immediately and appropriately in times of a disaster?
The number of disasters in the past five years has increased and coupled with the expectations for global companies to respond to such events, makes it imperative that companies have a disaster relief plan in place. They need a rapid response to expedite their actions. The time for disaster planning is BEFORE a disaster strikes.
Advance planning allows the company to incorporate all the primary resources they have including cash, product, and employee resources to address immediate needs in a timely and rapid manner. Planning allows companies to identify the key factors that will dictate the appropriateness and level of response.
In addition, planning allows companies to establish ongoing relationships with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the American Red Cross, that are vetted and well-qualified to become a strategic partner to address the immediacy of the disaster.
With proper planning and forming strategic partnerships with nonprofits and empowering employees, companies are an indispensable conduit for providing help in times of disaster.
Good Done Great encourages companies to be prepared in advance of any specific disaster. Through our strategic services and state of the art technology, we assist companies in developing a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan that incorporates the appropriate use of corporate resources and identifies the specific factors that indicate when and how the company will respond. We want to make it easy for companies to “Go Live” and put into action their own plan the moment a disaster strikes.