Account for Employees During and After an Emergency using Workplace by Facebook

Posted by Bill Cushard on September 26, 2017

"An incident just happened by our office in North America. Are our people OK? Do we know where they are?"

These are the questions we need to answer quickly, but hope we never have to ask.

Emergency action plans require the need for an effective process for both alerting and checking on the status of people. Although most crisis management plans contain this process, they are typically made up of phone number lists and phone trees, sprinkled with processes for emailing and texting. The problem is that these lists are rarely complete and crisis teams spend far too much time maintaining these lists. And when a crisis does occur, it is common for outdated contact lists to leave the team with an incomplete status of the people affected. 

For most organizations, the one place where the employee list is complete and update is in the identify management system and/or HR system. And if these systems are integrated with a communications platform like Workplace by Facebook, crisis management teams no longer need to maintain contact lists. It also follows that Workplace by Facebook can be the mechanism for both alerting people and checking on the status and location of people impacted by a crisis. 


We just rolled out the Safety Officer App for Workplace so that organizations have the tool necessary to take friction out accounting for people during a crisis or incident. Now crisis management teams can easily alert and check on the status of its people quickly, so they can answer they question, "Where are our people and are they safe?"

Safety Officer has many applications. Here are just a few. 

Fire alarm test: Many organizations run fire drills in coordination with local fire departments. For large companies that have hundreds or even thousands of people at one location, there is no efficient way to account for people who have left or returned to the building during and after the fire drill. Fire drills are important to prepare an organization for when a fire happens for real. Fire drills are also an opportunity to test the communications and notification system. After a fire drill, a company can send out an alert from Safety Officer and ask people if they have returned to the office. Employees can reply in Work Chat with their phone or with their computer. This is a great way to test a notification system.

Natural disaster: When a natural disaster (flood, earthquake, typhoon, tsunami, etc) occurs near one of your offices, you could immediately Safety Officer to send a notification through Work Chat to all employees at that location and ask whether they are safe. You could also ask people to indicate their current location based on the GPS data on their phone. Within minutes, you could have a list of status of all your people. 

Employees who travel: When your people are traveling for work, to visit other offices or customers, they could travel to a location where an incident occurs. When this happens, you need to immediately check to see if those travelers are OK. Sending an alert through Safety Officer, you can ask your traveling employees to check in and indicate their status and location. 

These are just a few example, but you get the idea. 

Phone trees, email lists, and text services are what most organizations use, but they are inefficient and often do not necessarily have the most updated information causing major gaps in a company's ability to alert and keep track of everyone. In a mobile-first world in which most people have a smart phone or a computer, companies should be able to notify people based on location straight to mobile phones and also ask people to "check in" to indicate their location and whether they are safe or not. 

Then, a simple report can be run to show the list of everyone who has and has not checked in and what their status is so a crisis management team has the information they need to make decisions about keeping their people safe. You know the list is accurate because the names came from your communications platform, Workplace.

Safety Officer by ServiceRocket is now available for Workplace by Facebook

Safety Officer for Workplace by Facebook allows crisis management teams to alert employees and request that employees "check in" to indicate their current status and location, as appropriate. To learn more about Safety Officer, watch the video in this blog, and then click the button below to sign up. 

Sign Up Now

Topics: Workplace by Facebook, Crisis Management, Incident, Safety Officer

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