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May 8, 2009

HR Fact Friday: 10 Questions HR Will Be Asked In a Crisis

Filed under: General HR Buzz6:00 am

In the event of an unplanned business interruption for an unknown duration, Human Resources will be inundated with questions from managers, employees, and possibly even the media or government concerning payroll, benefits, and general workforce issues that you may not have considered, and will need to have answers ready.


HR department leaders should review these questions and then have group discussions to add specific questions pertinent to your company.


1. How long will the facility be closed?


2. How long will I be out of work?


3. Will I be paid for the period during which our business operations are suspended?


4. Will benefits continue during the period in which our facilities are closed? If so, how long with they continue?


5. I receive a paper check in person each pay period. How will I receive my paychecks now? Can you mail them to another state?

6. How are you communicating with employees given the fact that the company’s communication infrastructure has been devastated by the incident? I don’t have access to the Internet. How can I monitor the “report to work” schedule?


7. Will you take disciplinary action against employees who do not report to work because they are managing the impact of this disaster at home?

8. Will my job be jeopardized because I have lost my ability to travel to work (due to car damage, destroyed roads, suspension of public transportation, etc.?


9. I have a health condition (e.g., cardiac, pregnancy) and have been told that the stress of coming to work during this period may compromise my health? What should I do now?


10. Will you be redeploying long-serving employees from one company facility to another?


HR and IT departments should coordinate a disaster recovery and work outage plan and then communicate in advance to employees so they know where and how to receive information.

About the author: Larry Barton, an international authority on corporate crisis management applies a corporate insider’s insight in his new book, CRISIS LEADERSHIP NOW: A Real-World Guide to Preparing for Threats, Disaster, Sabotage, and Scandal (McGraw Hill Professional, 2008).


Reprinted from 4/27/2009


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