Resilient Even When Technology Fails by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

We all know that modern technology and systems can be a double edged sword. We love how efficient technology is most of the time. The challenge is when technology fails, our work can completely shut down, leaving us frustrated and unable to complete even the most basic tasks. 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 backup plan. Even if technology failures are few and far between, it is important to have a back up plan for how you’ll handle these situations. 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 cannot.

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 By ensuring employees have been trained on how to do their jobs during failure, will go a long way to help everyone stay calm. It is also important that everyone knows 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. Know this too shall pass.

4. Have a prepared script for customers. Knowing how to talk to customers in the event of a technology failure is critical. It is important that your customers feel everything is under control. It is important that your employees manage their frustration calmly. 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 backup 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.