Business Continuity Plans: Don’t Make These Top 5 Mistakes
Your Business Continuity Plans may look great on paper, but they aren’t worth a thing if you don’t have buy-in from your employees. They need to be informed about their role in the plan; what responsibilities do they have in case of a catastrophic network failure? What is expected from them, and how can they help implement the plans you set in place?
The top five mistakes organizations make with their Business Continuity Plans involve a lack of employee education about implementing them.
How? Read on.
1. Not Testing Your Business Continuity Plans
The only way to ensure your Business Continuity Plans will succeed is to test it prior to needing it. Your employees’ actions are what will make the BCP work, and their cooperation is what minimizes your loss of productivity during a disaster and unplanned downtime.
Plan tests in advance, and make sure your employees understand:
- What do they say to clients while connections are down?
- Where will your employees work if they can’t work in the office?
- Who is their point of contact during a disaster?
- What are their roles and responsibilities during the crisis?
Business Continuity Plans Error #1: Not explaining the plan to the employees, and not testing their preparedness in advance.
2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Good Business Continuity Plans include every aspect of recovering from a disaster, including planning for your employees during the crisis. Depending on the nature of the disaster, you may need to consider medical support and monetary aid for your employees in addition to business recovery factors.
Contact your local medical providers and clarify what kind of medical aid would be provided, who to contact, and what you need to do to ensure your employees receive medical attention if it’s needed following a disaster. You may also need to put away some “rainy day funds” to help your employees recover from the disaster.
Your employees’ perception of your organization’s ability to provide for them will go a long way towards making sure you have employee buy-in of your BCP.
Business Continuity Plans Error #2: Not thinking logistically when it comes to employee care following a natural disaster.
3. Not Enough Physical Planning
What would you do if a fire broke out in your offices? Do you have evacuation routes clearly marked, and do your employees know where they are? What plans have you made for communications during a disaster? Do you have emergency communication plans in place?
When you were in school, fire drills were a part of life. Planning and testing your “escape routes” are no less important now than it was then. Discuss emergency plans that include evacuation routes and streamlined emergency communications to make sure your employees are prepared and can calmly implement your disaster strategies if necessary.
Business Continuity Plans Error #3: Not planning your natural disaster survival strategies or routinely testing them.
4. Lack of Communication
Being reactive instead of proactive is a mistake, no matter what the situation. Your employees need to trust that you will keep the lines of communication open, providing them with information they need to know in real-time during a disaster.
Create emergency channels or a toll-free hotline so employees can stay connected and updated. Encourage employees to stay connected with management and each other during the crisis so employees have the information they need when they need it. Make sure your employees have contact information in advance to keep them connected and informed in the face of a disaster.
Business Continuity Plans Error #4: Not having a proactive support system in place for employees if a disaster should occur.
5. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Your responsibility to your employees doesn’t end when the crisis is over. Most business owners are too busy trying to mitigate the impact a disaster has on the organization to check up on employees. Remember that your BCP is more than just cloud backup and recovery; this is the time your employees need to know that you are there for them.
Some of your employees may have special needs and most of them will be far more interested in taking care of their own families than thinking about your organization.
Do you have a crisis intervention team? Make sure you designate some employees as follow-up personnel, checking up on fellow workers after a disaster.
Business Continuity Plans Error #5: Not having a plan in place to follow up on employees after a disaster.
Need Help Creating Comprehensive Business Continuity Plans?
Iconic IT is available to help your business create comprehensive Business Continuity Plans that include your employees’ considerations alongside your organization’s needs. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation assessment and let us talk you through it.