The cruise ship industry took a hit this past week as the Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Italy. Rumors are swirling that the ship’s captain may not have followed company procedures, and may have been performing an unauthorized “salute” intended to approach the shore to provide a view to people on land.
Carnival, the parent company of the Concordia’s owner, announced they will be conducting a thorough review of operational practices and procedures in order to prevent future incidents. Passengers are concerned whether the procedures and policies in place are being followed, but are finding that cruise lines’ policies frequently limit the ability of travelers to get refunds.
A Huffington Post article, “Sinking Trust,” summed it up this way: “The media and public must ask—aren’t there rules, procedures or drills for the possibility of an accident? Of course there are, but if not practiced or put into action when needed, emergency plans become little more than dusty notebooks that fulfill a corporate or government check list. The public is left to conclude that in practice there are no rules or the rules that do exist are inadequate.”
In order for Carnival to fulfill its promise to review procedures and the policies they support, a great deal of behind-the-scenes work has to be performed to ensure:
*All necessary policies and procedures are reviewed
*New versions of any updated policies are distributed to the correct personnel
*Records are kept that employees have been communicated the updated information
*New versions are understood by the relevant persons
When an incident occurs, do you have systems in place to help you navigate through the waters of your company’s policy framework to make the appropriate changes in a timely manner? And can you prove your due diligence in communicating changed corporate policies to your workforce?