Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to reach its peak. With many companies considering business continuity plans for future pandemics, let’s take a look at what those plans should cover.
Obviously, after this outbreak is under control, things will change. Chief among these changes is the awareness of the possibility of a new pandemic occurring. If you establish a framework to deal with future pandemics, you’ll have a certain degree of structure to work within and be able to avoid panic. A business continuity plan can help with all of this.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan?
Often known as business resilience, a business continuity plan refers to the ability of a company to weather changes, regardless of how disruptive they might be. Overall, it is a practice that deals with threats to a company, the prevention of these threats, and the recovery from them.
Our current global situation is unlike anything we’ve seen. The right way to navigate this situation is different for everyone. A small business is going to have different goals than a massive corporation. A business continuity plan should take the specifics of your organization, industry, and location into account. Additionally, the continuity plan should consist of four steps. These steps are risk assessment, impact analysis, strategy development, and testing/maintaining.
Tips for Business Continuity Plans
Add to Your HR Sector
In times of uncertainty, the human relations department of any company will often have very crucial tasks to perform. The HR team should chat with employees and ensure that their well-being is being taken into consideration. Additionally, a business continuity plan needs to go over every detail for sick leave, family emergency leave, and similar situations. The policies concerning payment and working remotely should also be addressed. Many organizations will have to change their policies during a pandemic, so the staff should be made aware of these changes.
It’s incredibly important that you think over your work-from-home policy. Even if you’ve never considered such a policy, it should be clear that a pandemic will require people to work from home – even if they’re not sick. For all the detriments to productivity in the short term, having people work from home will benefit everyone in the long term.
Prepare Your Management Team
In preparing your management team for a pandemic, it’s essential that you give them time to establish guidelines for making big decisions. You need to figure out who will make them, what they’re going to be, and the best possible course of action.
One huge question is whether or not your company will remain open during the pandemic. You need to ask yourself how long your business can keep going without new clients. You should expect to continue your core processes for several months. AI-augmented business intelligence software is essential when we’re talking about crucial data analytics, decision making, and strategic planning.
As the crisis continues, managers should communicate with every employee to make sure they are aware of their role and what they need to be doing. Work under stress or remote work can cause problems, but a good office culture can ease some of this. Additionally, it should be noted that things reverting back to normal will take time.
It should also be noted that, much like company property, intellectual property is also in danger when working from home. Your staff should be educated on cybersecurity. VPNs should be given to staff that handle sensitive information.
Conduct Your Business in New Ways
During a pandemic, businesses can’t operate how they may have in the past. Companies need to change tactics and find different ways to organize themselves and their practices. While pandemics affect all industries differently, there are some common changes to be expected among all sectors.
First, you should assess your business processes. Can you conduct any of these from home? Meetings can be old through teleconferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype. Google Docs can be a huge asset for remote collaboration.
Alternative Staffing Arrangements
Face-to-face meetings and non-essential travel should be postponed. However, if your business is essential and needs people to be at the workplace then you should minimize contact between your staff and your customers.
Additionally, the way your team is arranged should be changed. Smaller skeleton crew units on different shifts will allow productivity while creating a safer, smaller working environment. Fewer people working each shift makes it easier for people to maintain distance.
Now more than ever, it’s important to consider a business continuity plan. At KitelyTech, we are learning more and more each day about working with and maintaining business relations during a pandemic. If you need a business partner to help you outline a business continuity plan, a partner in a tech enterprise, or a number of other services, consider contacting KitelyTech today.