Business continuity plans (BCPs) are designed to protect an organization’s critical data in case of a crisis. But there is more to BCPs than securing data; it also entails making sure employees are safe during a disruption. If you want an infallible business continuity plan, cover every base and avoid the following mistakes.
Mistake 1: Not considering the small details
Once you’ve created a general business continuity plan, you need to think about the specifics to ensure that what you envision is executable. This includes fleshing out logistical considerations like medical aid and technology support.
For instance, you need to inform partner medical providers about your BCP so that they can make arrangements in advance. This may entail asking for key personnel whom your employees can directly contact if they ever need medical support during an incident. You may also need to figure out how your employees can securely access company data in case they can’t physically come to the office. Planning for the tiniest details may save your data and your employees’ lives, so run through your strategy regularly to ensure that they’re up to date and still effective.
Mistake 2: Failing to plan for employees
Companies that can bounce back after unexpected incidents are those that have thought about their employees’ needs when making a BCP, so plan every detail that may concern your staff during a disruption, from evacuation routes to emergency communication procedures. Doing so will ensure that your employees have everything they need to survive the worst.
Discuss your strategy with your employees and ask for their input in matters that concern their safety or ability to work. Also, let them know that you will be there to support them and their families in the event of a crisis. This way, your employees will have peace of mind knowing that the company is there for them, and this, in turn, ensures their loyalty.
Mistake 3: Not showing your employees how the BCP works
While many business owners worry about downtime, they may neglect to explain to employees how to effectively execute the BCP to minimize lost productivity.
Your staff are part of your overall plan, so they must know the BCP strategy to be able to carry out their roles satisfactorily. Demonstrate exactly how your employees are supposed to respond during a crisis, such as informing them who they're supposed to contact during a natural disaster and what they're supposed to say to clients if systems are down. Walk them through where and how they will work when the primary office is inaccessible. Then, have your staff do these tasks until they’re confident that they can perform them when a disaster strikes.
Mistake 4: Putting greater priority on operational continuity over employee safety
When an incident occurs, it's understandable for business owners to assess the disaster's impact on business. But being solely concerned with operational continuity and neglecting employees' well-being and safety has consequences, too.
Check on your people first, as they are crucial in executing processes. If you have a data backup plan but no one to facilitate it, then your plan — no matter how meticulous — is rendered useless. Make sure that your workforce is reachable, safe, and able. Make it a priority for the crisis management team to contact your employees and see what help may be given to make their situation better. Supporting your team when the worst happens is a guarantee that they can get back on their feet and return to work more swiftly.
Mistake 5: Not having the right tech solutions in place
You shouldn’t wait for a natural disaster to hit before setting up a toll-free hotline that employees can call in for regular updates. You also shouldn’t wait for a data breach before you start looking for ways to secure your data backups. Without the proper technology solutions to mitigate an incident, your business might face increased risks, prolonged downtime, and steep revenue loss.
Talk to your IT department or consult with a technology specialist to ensure that you have all the tech safeguards you need in case things go south. The right IT solutions will streamline company-wide communication, secure workloads, and most likely minimize downtime.
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