Raising the profile of evacuation: getting inside people’s heads

Jim RickardsArticle

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Think you know everything about your business & why people buy from you? Don’t be so sure. Your clients may have different ideas on what makes money well spent – ideas that could be staring you in the face.

It’s always surprising, and perhaps a little unsettling, when you realise other people don’t see you the same way you see yourself. In some cases though, it’s not what they think that bothers you – it’s the fact you never saw it yourself.

I found this was the case for Tagevac, when I had the opportunity to video a testimonial given by our client, Lloyd’s of London, at their iconic HQ. Apart from some basic lead questions, there were no other prompts, just a fair and frank appraisal from the client. Despite all our previous meetings, throughout the months of the consult and supply process, the idea of our system helping to ‘raise the profile of evacuation’, as the client puts it, had never really occurred to me in a practical sense. I had considered the idea in general marketing terms for my company before working with Lloyd’s, but it hadn’t been discussed here from their point of view – or perhaps I had just failed to ask the question. But it certainly got me thinking:

How do organisations get their employees to buy into and engage with an evacuation process? How do they raise its profile?

It’s a step further than what we’re brought in to deal with, but if we can provide a complete solution to our  clients’ problems, rather than just part of it, that’s a wealth of value added to our service. And most critically, it helps us better understand our product, by seeing it absolutely from the user’s point of view.

‘In your face

Part way through the interview with Trevor Jennings, Risk Manager at Lloyd’s property services, it suddenly clicked  how useful raising the profile of evacuation has been for him. By showing the simple but effective plans in a graphic and easy-to-communicate way, it not only brings fire plans into the collective consciousness, but demonstrates to employees that the organisation are serious about fire safety responsibility, and the value it adds to the guys that have to practise it.

As Trevor put it, “It is very much in your face.” It’s clearly been a big help to him, as he goes on to explain how they now have eighty fire marshals on their books – all voluntary, none ‘coerced’, he assures me.

Test it!

Why not experiment in your next evacuation drill, and see if changing the way in which the information is displayed and communicated will have a direct bearing on its efficiency and speed. You could then look at the other costs involved in maintaining your fire safety systems and processes on an annual basis, including active and passive solutions, such as training, consultative fees and system upgrades. Then compare the budget allocated to your evacuation process, and decide whether it’s realistic . With a clear informative system like TagEvac, you could not only have a slick, professional evacuation solution, but also a  powerful way of sorting out your next immediate challenge – finding the right people to put it into action. And don’t just take my word for it – have a look at how raising the profile of their evacuation worked for Lloyd’s.

Martin Reed is MD of TagEvac. Emergency Evacuation. Made Simple. Addendum: My sincere thanks to Trevor Jennings, Risk Manager at Lloyd’s of London for his consideration, time and support for TagEvac.

Jim RickardsRaising the profile of evacuation: getting inside people’s heads