Is Your Business Ready for Potential Civil Unrest

The US election is just weeks away. It will cap a year unlike any other.

A coronavirus pandemic brought global lockdowns. Months of protests sparked by perceived and observed police abuses and excesses. Crackdowns on protesters that bred more protests. Followed by pandemic upticks (including a COVID-19 outbreak in the White House), a rushed process for approving a Supreme Court nominee, state mail-in ballot restrictions, long voting lines, claims of voter fraud and candidate misinformation. All of that on top of the perpetual, underlying, unremitting dread of the ongoing pandemic that has affected every single part of our lives – from business to employment to school to family to geopolitics – has set the stage for an potential, unprecedented level of civil unrest in the fourth quarter.

As RANE’s Executive Director of Safety and Security, Brian Lynch succinctly put it, 2020 has been a year like no other.

 “[T]here’s a lot of tension, generally, in the populace. And in that are the employers. And the employers are, I think, being asked to deliver more than just a paycheck today. I think there’s a lot more on the plate of the employers and what the employees expect from the employers. And I think that paradigm shift has been made this year. For example, providing assistance to employees in a number of areas. Particularly, in safety and security.”

These are risks shared by businesses and individuals. RANE was built to help businesses manage and avert safety and security risk to their physical and cyber spaces, their employees and their brands. Because shared risks require shared solutions. Now more than ever, RANE’s ability to provide access to world-class expertise and insights is critical to ensuring business continuity and resiliency for our clients.

RANE founder, David Lawrence framed a recent webcast discussion for RANE clients on how business should prepare for civil unrest following a tumultuous year. “Thanks to the election and the pandemic there are not only new issues in the environment, but new responsibilities that are pulling on companies. And quite frankly, I interpret some of the noise and the voice and the issue that are really coming to the surface, people are looking to companies as opposed to their political leaders to resolve this. And personnel are looking to their companies to help them think through, protect them.”

Also in the webinar were Matthew Bogaard is CEO, Founder, and Principal Consultant at the Bogaard Group International, a global security consulting firm, and Dr. Marisa Randazzo is CEO at SIGMA Threat Management Associates and Director of Threat Assessment at Georgetown University.

One key takeaway for businesses from all the panelists was to make sure your employees know how important their safety is and that there is a team behind them. And to make sure to communicate, communicate and communicate more to avert fear and misinformation.

What if personnel in your business wish to engage in civic demonstrations? Again, clarity and support are key. Does your company have a policy on political activity? Make sure employees understand it 

RANE Executive Director of Safety and Security, Brian Lynch, “And specifically related to crisis management, it’s critically important that the individuals that are aligned to be part of the crisis management plan and the vendors and the police agencies that are involved in whatever the crisis are that are particular to a firm, we try not to meet those guys and gals when the crisis happens. And that’s why training is so important. And it’s not only designing the plan. It starts with, what am I trying to protect? So in this particular case, we’re trying to protect people, obviously. And we’re trying to communicate to our employees, what are the risks and how do you mitigate those risks. 

In every crisis, he said ,”We’re also trying to ensure that we have business continuity at the same time…And we want to make sure that all of the individuals understand their roles and their responsibilities.

The election coming up is, obviously, a flash point. But we don’t know what tomorrow holds. And we want to make sure we have those plans and those training opportunities in place. And that we’re executing on those on a consistent basis.”

Individuals and organizations turn to RANE for cost-effective access to risk intelligence and expertise across four main categories of interconnected risk. Want to hear the whole conversation? Click here and learn how RANE is helping clients during the coronavirus crisis, the and the election season to prepare for What. Comes. Next.