Staying Calm When Technology Fails by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
We all know that modern technology and systems can be a two edged sword. We love the efficiencies we gain for 90% of our time. However, when technology fails, our work can completely shut down, leaving us frustrated and unable to complete even the most basic tasks. As a leader, it is critical to remain calm in the face of technology that isn’t working the way we expect. Here are some tips to help you through it.
1. Have a plan. Even if technology failures are few and far between in your business, it is important to have a plan for how you’ll handle them then these occur. Make a list of the “must do” tasks that have to be completed even in the event of a shutdown, and then create a manual process for completing these tasks. Since most shutdowns are short lived, it isn’t necessary to have a back up plan for everything. Know what can wait, and what can’t.
2. Make sure employees are trained. Even if you have the best back up plan, you’ll have chaos if employees can’t jump into action quickly when needed. Be sure employees receive training on how to do their jobs during failure, and be sure they know who is responsible for each critical task.
3. Keep updated. It’s easier to contain your frustration when you know the end is in sight. Keep up to date on the status of the problem, and report regularly to your employees. Stay calm and avoid getting too agitated about the problem. If you are calm, your employees will be too.
Knowing how to talk to customers in the event of a technology failure is critical. It is important that they not become alarmed, and that your employees not show their own frustration to the client. It is equally important that your employees set the right expectations with customers, and follow up promptly once technology is restored.
Technology failures can incite panic in even the calmest professionals. The key to remaining calm is having a plan and knowing how to execute that plan. A little planning ahead helps you prove just how resilient you can be in the face of a crisis.