Business Continuity Planning Amid COVID-19 and Extended Employee Absence
Updated: Apr 2
As death and ill health caused by coronavirus continue to rise, estimates as to when the outbreak will seize seems fuzzy at best, while the economic toll continues to mount. Be it disrupted supply chain, cancelled business travel or social distancing, the pandemic has is forcing businesses of all sizes to bring out and brace themselves with emergency response and business continuity plans.
Paralyzed business operations and the economy along with immobilized employees required to work remotely from their homes has suddenly thrust enterprise decision makers onto the centre stage to deal with what is shaping into perhaps their career’s greatest challenge, becoming custodians of their employee experience and enablers of business operations in a time of crisis. This means ensuring the remote work is as seamless as possible to provide support to customers and stakeholders.
Business continuity in its simplest refers to maintaining critical business functions or processes at a time of disruption. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is essentially an action plan that an organization formulates that can be relied upon at a time of crisis when tension and stakes run high. It presents a set of policies and procedures that the company must follow to weather the unforeseen enveloping critical business processes, assets, business partners and human resources.
A Few Things to Remember
The health and the well-being of employees is of prime concern. Addressing their immediate needs pre-emptively, businesses should begin thinking about operating with a remote workforce. In the event of a disruption like the present COVID-19, it is critical to put forth a strategy that enables employees to continue functioning without endangering them. Verification of company capabilities such as tools, technology, capacity and security measures become imperative to manage a remote workforce.
A BCP is just as effective as the people in-charge of implementing it. It is vital to outline the responsibilities of people who are required to activate and see the plan through when crisis strikes. Getting this team involved along with key personnel in the planning process may make the comprehension and the implementation of the plan more fruitful.
When faced with a catastrophic situation like the present, clear, straightforward instructions that can be followed without confusion instils a sense of control. It’s best to leave as little to interpretation as possible, considering diverse perspectives to help make the plan as detailed and clear as needs warrant. Formulate a communications plan that includes keeping employees and customers abreast with the company’s status quo as well as actions taken. Grounding communications to verifiable news sources, such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) increases trust.
Prioritize Key Business Functions
This step involves assessment of business processes and identifying vulnerable areas, mapping dependencies and estimating potential losses if these functions face a downtime. Identifying critical products, services, clients can be a good start for this. This will help with prioritizing those aspects of the BCP that deal with the business’s most high-value assets, functions, and relationships.
At CSG Technologies, we believe that a little pre-emptive planning can go a long way. Business Continuity Planning does not only help protect core business assets but also quell uncertainties and fears among key business stakeholders helping build trust and assurance within them. Creating a sound framework for responding to crises thus can help your team handle a significant disruption to business operations. Business Continuity Applications help streamline the planning and implementation process offering a central system that disburses information to key personnel that help keep business functions intact.