Every business owner knows that having a business continuity plan is crucial to the success of their organization. However, when the unexpected does happen, companies tend to overlook how well employees can stick to the plan. To make sure your plan doesn’t go up in flames, here are five critical mistakes you must avoid.
Mistake #1: Failing to plan for employees
Companies that survive unexpected incidents are the ones that thought about their employees’ needs. Make sure you plan out everything from evacuation routes to emergency communication plans to make sure your employees have everything they need to survive the worst.
Discuss your strategy with your employees to 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 you and the company are there for them, and in turn, they will be there to support you.
Mistake #2: Using only words, not actions
Once you’ve documented your business continuity plan, you need to think about the small stuff to ensure your plan is executable. This includes logistical considerations like medical aid and monetary support.
Walk the walk and ensure your medical providers have made arrangements in advance. Have an assistance program in place to make sure your employees have access to people who can give them support in the event of an incident. Staff will remember if you provided them with care and support, and will remember even more clearly if you didn’t.
Mistake #3: Not showing your employees how the plan will work
While many business owners worry about downtime, they overlook the fact that explaining the plan and its execution to employees is critical to minimizing lost productivity.
As part of your maintenance program, include your employees in the testing process. Execute a live test to show your employees how they’re supposed to respond during a crisis incident. Who are they supposed to contact during a natural disaster? What are they supposed to say to clients? Where will they work when the primary office is down? These are just a few questions you need to have answered by the end of the live test.
Mistake #4: Forgetting to check on people after the incident
When an incident occurs, the first assessment most businesses make is to determine the impact it has on the company. But how do you execute that process without people? When disaster strikes, your employees will naturally want to be taking care of their families, not your business.
Ensure your crisis management team addresses people issues first. Where are they? What do I need to do for them? Are there any special employee needs you must address?
Mistake #5: Reacting rather than communicating
The most important thing to get right during a crisis is communication. It is imperative that your employees know you can provide them with the most up-to-date information.
Set up a toll-free hotline so your employees can call in for regular updates or create emergency channels where they can communicate with one another directly. With that, you provide consistent messaging, and you eliminate secondhand information and employee guesswork.
If your business continuity plan prioritizes your employees, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your team is still standing strong even if the worst should happen.
Want to learn more about business continuity and how it can help your business? Contact us today to see how we can help.