When the unimaginable crisis becomes a reality, organisations are faced with unprecedented challenges to think and act quickly across different levels to mitigate risks and ensure business is as usual. Key measures need to be taken, including having open communication lines across the organisation, employee & customer well-being, uninterrupted remote working, ongoing customer service and continuity of operations. This calls for the need to have a strategic and operations framework in place that delivers continuity of business.
What’s a Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan is a well-thought-out process that details what actions an organisation can take in the face of a crisis, and how it will continue to operate. In this sense, a business continuity plan goes beyond firefighting and recovery, and aims to prepare contingencies for every aspect of the business that can be potentially affected.
India findings of PwC’s first-ever Global Crisis Survey reveal that 80% the senior executives have experienced at least one crisis in the past 5 years. This gives them an edge when it comes to handling a crisis better with a documented crisis management plan than those who have little experience and have a no crisis response plan in place.
So how can organisations prepare?
Have a Plan, Test and Refine it
Preparation, at the outset, needs a plan. A well-thought-out holistic plan includes a process for declaring a crisis, allocating responsibilities, handling communications — both internal and external — along with managing all relevant stakeholders, such as customers and employees. The first step employers need to take is to ensure the safety of their employees and lay down the remote working policies. By testing the plan, organisations get a chance to review it, fix any loopholes and make it more flexible.
Employee Engagement Should be a Top Priority
The second part of the preparedness involves keeping your workforce engaged. The sudden shift towards working from home needs to be supported with right tech tools, setting expectations, providing well-being programs, policies and constant support. Additionally, the ongoing learning needs of your workforce must also be considered.
Employees should be encouraged to take certifications, courses and upskill themselves to be better prepared for the future of work. Organisations need to begin to embrace and pilot virtual models of working, distributed collaboration and contingency models beginning now. This will ensure that in the future, they are not forced into a disruptive transition.
In these unprecedented times, there’s an immediate need for organisations to rethink their processes to ensure the safety of their employees and successful continuation of the business. The Business Continuity Plan courses from this channel will help companies lead through crisis
Each crisis is unique, as each organisation’s needs are different. For instance, blocked roads and transportation channels can spell doom for a logistics company, but for the IT industry, it can be business as usual. It is important for businesses to do a pilot run, evaluate their needs and design strategies accordingly.
The best line of defence is good planning, which needs to begin right now. In doing so, organisations will be well prepared to adopt to any crisis with minimal disruption and maximum output.