People Matter Too in Business Continuity Planning
Meeting the needs of your employees during a business disaster is critical. Your employees are the “company face” to your customers, vendors and the community – if their needs are not met, it will be nearly impossible to meet the needs of the other stakeholders.
Effective communication before, during and after the “major incident” is essential. Here are a few ideas on how to accomplish that communication:
– At an off-site location maintain a record of employee emergency contact information with other important documents in your emergency kit.
– Involve your employees in your business continuity planning – seeking their input and ideas.
– Use newsletters, intranets, staff meetings and other internal communication tools to communicate emergency plans and procedures. Implement an on-going program of regular updates and reminders of these plans/procedures.
– Design into your plans how you will communicate with your employees who are hearing-impaired or have other disabilities or who do not speak English.
– Designate an out-of-town phone number where employees can leave an “I’m Okay” message in a catastrophic disaster. Remind employees to minimize their calls and keep them short so others are able to get through.
– Implement a digital communication method to be used to get updates or instructions during the emergency, such as:
– Adding a password-protected page on the company website
– E-mail alert,
– Text message “tree” or method of texting employees with updates,
– Phone number with a recording that is regularly updated with important information
– Encourage employees to have alternate means and routes for getting to and from work, in case their normal mode of transportation is interrupted.
– Practice or “drill” with employees so that when/if an emergency strikes your employees will be prepared to respond.