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  • Writer's pictureLisa Brosky

The Risk of Ignoring Smoldering Issues

In any workplace, conflicts and issues are bound to arise. The most insidious, however, are those situations that smolder beneath the surface just waiting to explode into flames.

They can be hiding anywhere. Discrimination in how applicants are handled. Inconsistent application of policies and procedures. Inattention to funding and payments. Ignoring conflicts. Poor personnel management. Internet rumors.


Every workplace has tensions and conflict that could grow out of control and wreak havoc on employee morale, productivity, and overall company culture. Those need to be addressed quickly.


The others, the ones that can cost your reputation and credibility and maybe your business, are often more difficult to spot. Worse, ignoring them or hoping they go away could be disastrous.


Some common smoldering issues:


Technology: Lapses in security that could lead to a data breach.

Personnel: Especially large or visible layoffs

Leadership: Lack of continuity or malfeasance

Violence: By employees or former employees

Natural disasters: Affecting business operation or continuity.

Many times, by identifying potential risks and ensuring that procedures are well documented and followed, you can prevent a smoldering issue from becoming a full blown crisis.


In other situations, like a natural disaster, you may not be able prevent something bad from happening, but you can be prepared to manage the messaging afterward.

It’s prudent to be prepared with a plan.


1. Evaluate your vulnerabilities; anticipate crisis needs

2. Create your response team

3. Identify your stakeholders

4. Establish notification and monitoring systems

5. Plan your responses (develop holding statements)

6. Prepare for post-crisis communication


Planning ahead, responding quickly and accurately, and being transparent will help you control the narrative and help save your reputation.


Blue Bee Communications can help you develop a crisis communication plan, so that when situations happen, you are prepared.


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