SMS alerts have forever changed how communication is employed in the workplace. While in the past, the platform utilized depended on the situation (such as fire alarms, meeting reminders, announcements, and others), companies now have text messaging at their disposal which allows them to communicate with staff members efficiently and quickly – especially when emergencies occur.
However, while text messaging has certainly proven its effectivity and sustainability in the workplace, its indispensability is futile if it isn’t implemented without an emergency plan that ensures everyone’s safety.
Before coming up with a plan for emergencies and potential dangers, all employees should be made aware of what the strategy calls for. Because different emergencies will call for different responses, it is important that policies are set before anything happens.
When creating a plan here are some of the steps you need to take when implementing SMS alerts at work:
1. Have a chain of command
Organizations typically have different teams and employees working on different tasks at work. When you create an emergency plan, make sure to have a chain of command. Designate those who will be the “need to know” recipients of your messages. Make sure you inform them, and create a system to relay the messages they will be receiving based on their given roles.
2. Develop and implement policies for emergency SMS alerts
Each emergency will have different requirements and responses. And while there is a set chain of command, the person to learn of the emergency first may not be one of those tasked with being a recipient of the alert. Because of this likely possibility, make sure that everyone in the company is aware about the seriousness of emergency messages, and the policies that go along with sending out messages. Everyone should know what to do when an emergency occurs and how they can alert those who need to be informed about it.
3. Standardize the language to be used
SMS alerts should be as simple, clear and concise as possible as to avoid confusion and further panic. Companies should develop their own lexicon when emergencies occur. Should you decide to opt for shorthand, messages will be composed and sent out more quickly, and employees will understand the alerts when they get them.
4. Take into consideration communication frequency
You won’t be able to access all the information needed when emergencies occur. At times, asking staff members to reply “yes” or “no” if they need assistance might be more than enough information you need. But while information may be lacking, you will want to know as much information as possible. So, when you lay out your plans before emergencies occur, make sure you make your employees aware of how they need to respond, and what information it is that they need to gather and share with you should these situations occur.
5. Set up turnkey messages and templates
When emergencies and calamities occur, it’s hard not to lose your clarity of thought. Because of this likely possibility, make sure that there are templates set for SMS alerts complete with locations, dates and other important information that can be edited and sent out right away. Providers can aid you in coming up with templates, and with what you will be needing to communicate with your employees.
6. Practice before any emergency even occurs
Even the most detailed plan could potentially fail if you are not prepared properly. In order to increase your chances of staying safe during and emergency, train all employees as to the important whos, whats, wheres and hows of your emergency plan.