Back in October, our CEO Adam Clyne flew to San Francisco to be a part of Flow, the first global leadership summit from Workplace by Facebook.
And one of the most exciting (and important) early previews he got to see was the Safety Check feature.
Safety Check is a new addition to Workplace, based on the Crisis Response feature that’s already used on the consumer version of Facebook.
Just like Crisis Response – which has unfortunately already been triggered 80 times in response to disasters like the 2015 Nepal earthquake or the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire – Safety Check is designed to help everyone connected to your business respond to crisis events, either by signalling their safety or asking for help.
It’s an amazing feature that we all hope we’ll never have to use.
But we still have a responsibility to learn how it works.
At Coolr, we’re Facebook’s first official Workplace partner in Europe. And that means we get an early inside look at their upcoming features, helping them to shape and test their developments before they go live.
We’ve already been testing Safety Check since November. And now we’re giving you everything you need to know to get started and prepared before it’s released at the end of January.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up and testing Safety Check:
How to use Safety Check
1. Getting to the dashboard
If you’re a Workplace admin, you’ll soon see this unassuming button in your admin panel, marked by a red circle:
Click on ‘Safety Check’ to take you through to the Safety Check dashboard.
(You won’t be able to use the tool until you’ve agreed to the safety policy.)
2. Assign your Safety Officers
Once you’ve agreed to the policy, you’ll be able to assign your Safety Officers.
These are the people who’ll be creating and managing crisis events through Workplace – so it’s important to choose them carefully.
In most cases, your usual Workplace admins (your IT team) won’t be the best choice. Instead, you should choose people who have the right connections and training to take on this crucial responsibility – like your HR team.
After you’ve assigned a Safety Officer, they’ll get an alert like this:
Your Safety Officers can click the ‘Go to Safety Check’ button in the top-right corner to access the feature.
But since these people are unlikely to be Workplace Admins, they won’t necessarily have access through the admin panel – so I’d recommend asking them to permanently bookmark the Safety Check page.
Here’s how Safety Check will look from your Safety Officers’ perspectives:
The front page is clean and simple, with very few distractions. And importantly, Workplace itself is mostly hidden: if there’s a crisis, we don’t want our officers being distracted.
With your Safety Officers assigned, you should next run a quick crisis drill to see how everything works.
3. Set up a test crisis
To help you understand the process early on, you can create a drill to practise what you’d need to do in the event of a crisis.
First, let’s click ‘Create crisis event’:
From here, you can choose between running a drill or creating a real crisis event.
This test option is such a great feature. Most organisations run fire drills on a regular basis – and bigger crises shouldn’t be any different.
So let’s try it. Click on ‘Drill’, and then click ‘Next’:
Here, we can give the event a title and a description. The most important fields will be ‘Locations’ and ‘People Assisting.’
The people assisting can only be the Safety Officers you’ve previously nominated, so it’s important to have officers set up for each of your locations (which can be either a city or a postcode).
Once we’ve got the details for the event, we can see what the alert will look like by clicking on the ‘Preview Safety Check’ button:
This lets us preview and tweak exactly what the user will see in their browser or mobile device.
4. Start your drill
Click ‘Done’ to start the drill, and you’ll be taken to a page that lets you target the people who will receive notifications:
I like what Facebook has done here:
You can target people by location, which is obviously useful during a crisis.
But some employees or external connections won’t always have their location data filled out properly – which means they might be missed.
So as well as targeting a location, Facebook has given us more controls.
You can add people through a particular group in Workplace, or add individuals by name as well.
No two companies are structured the same way on Workplace – so it’s great to have this extra level of control to make sure no one gets missed.
For this demonstration, I’m going to target people in London:
Now we’ve got a preview of everyone who will receive a notification – and I can add or remove people depending on the nature of the crisis.
You might have noticed that at the top of the page it says ‘11 Not yet notified’. This means we haven’t sent out our alert yet – so let’s do that now.
5. Send out your alerts
Click on the ‘Send safety check’ button and choose your delivery medium from the dropdown menu. I’m going to send out an alert through Workplace Chat.
Each user gets the following message delivered through Workplace Messenger. Those with the chat app installed on their phone will see it as follows:
Back on the dashboard, we can start to see some responses, and we can quickly filter them to find anyone who needs our help:
6. Close down your drill
Once things have returned to normal, you can click the ‘End Crisis Event’ button to close the crisis event and add it to an archive. Any previous events are recorded, and you can get a list of affected people that you can export for reporting.
So what’s next?
Safety Check is going live on Workplace at the end of January. And it could turn out to be one of the most important features Workplace has ever had.
Through Safety Check, businesses will be able to get the quick responses from their teams that they need to make sure people are safe – or to send help to where it’s needed.
But it takes a little bit of practice and learning to be prepared.
So as soon as Safety Check launches, it’s crucial that you start to get used to it as soon as possible by following the steps we’ve outlined to:
- Get Safety Check set up
- Assign your Safety Officers
- Run a crisis drill
- And make sure everyone is getting a test alert and is able to respond.
And if you’re still not sure about something? Leave a comment below or drop in to our Coolr Multi-Company Group.
We’re always happy to help businesses get more out of Workplace. And as a company that’s involved in the testing and development of apps and integrations like this, we’ve got a unique inside perspective on the inner workings of everything Workplace-related.
Of course, we all truly hope that no one will ever need to activate Safety Check.
But for the sake of everyone involved with your business, it’s important that you start learning and preparing now.
Because with this new feature, getting things right is more important than ever.