Crisis management teams often operate in high-pressure situations. Operators usually receive a lot of information in a short amount of time and are responsible for assessing this and executing the appropriate measures. In these hectic moments, you need a skilled loggist who can confidently log the information received, when decisions were made, and actions taken. Nevertheless, like everything else in crisis management, only practice makes perfect.
Why is Logging Important?
The log will give a clear record of what you did, why you did it, and the information you used to support your decisions This can prove valuable even years after the event if, for example, someone decides to take you to court.
This isn’t such a far-fetched idea because the review process following an incident usually takes a long time, especially if different companies or a governmental body is involved. If the incident caused someone to suffer permanent injury or disability, or if a person died a couple of days later due to the inflicted injuries, you would definitely be expected to present a full record of events and actions.
Logging also increases accountability in the organisation; it enables you to review the crisis management process from start to finish, even after key resources have left the company. The team can learn from how they handled the situation and improve the way they respond to incidents.
How to Log During an Incident
Typically, different types of information will come from various departments of your organisation as well as external sources during an incident. The loggist will record the received information, time stamp it, and log any decisions and actions for whom a person is responsible.
The crisis management team must have access to this information in real-time and it may be categorized in some way, for example by people, environment, assets and reputation. This must all be established before an incident and be a part of your training.
Who is suited to become a loggist?
The characteristics of a good loggist is that they are calm, work well under pressure, have an eye for detail and are good at multitasking. A loggist may have any role in the company but should be highly trusted since receiving and handling sensitive information comes with the territory. Additionally, it is a great advantage if the person is a fast typist.
How to Train Loggists
The loggist function should be part of every single crisis management exercise. Generally speaking, they need to drill:
- exactly which equipment to use and where it is located,
- which information they should interrogate before sending it to other people,
- how and when to chase up information that is incomplete or comes from an unknown source,
- how to time stamp properly, and
- how to write clearly.
These skills can be achieved through both tabletop and full exercises. Additionally, the loggists should always know what the log will potentially be used for. Use real-life examples to highlight the consequences of not logging properly, but don’t intimidate or scare your loggists. Just emphasise the fact that he or she is doing an important and valuable job, so they feel valued rather than pressured.