Business Continuity Profile
It’s one thing to have a business continuity plan, but it’s another to make sure your staff know about it. Those involved in writing the plan and the core members of recovery teams are likely aware of the plan. This is great, but what about everyone else in the organization? When bad things happen, will the staff know the company has a plan in place? Will they know they have a role? Will they know how to quickly (and easily) access the plan so they can assist in the recovery? In short, once you have written the plan, you have to raise the business continuity profile to a level where everyone knows about it.
While it’s great the say “raise the business continuity profile”, but how do we do that without a time-consuming training initiative? Here are 6 resource-light ways to elevate the business continuity profile in your organization:
Add BCP to new staff orientation
Most companies have some sort of orientation process for all new employees. This is a perfect opportunity to share information about the business continuity plan and who to contact should they have follow-up questions. This is the time to capture after-hours contact information, and emphasize the need to keep the information current. Be sure that new employees know that this is how you will reach them after hours, if needed. If they are reluctant to provide the information, ask them if they would prefer the company notify them that the office is closed, before they leave home, or after they arrive at the office in the morning. This is often enough to convince them!
Test communication strategies
If you’re using a notification solution like Communications, the solution built into KingsBridge Shield, you’ll want to test the tool every now and then. Testing will give you an indication of how accurate your employee contact information is. It’s also a great way to remind employees of the corporate business continuity program and the method of communication that will be used.
Leverage evacuation drills
Evacuation drills tend to happen at least on an annual basis. This is a great opportunity to add a little dash of BCP to the evacuation process. Target one or two teams with each evacuation and ask the following: What would you do if you couldn’t return to the building right now? Where is your laptop if you needed to work from home? How can you access a copy of the business continuity plan right now if the plan was activated? Without conducting a separate tabletop exercise, you can cover some basics by leveraging a simple evacuation drill.
Provide updates in staff and departmental meetings or newsletters
The more staff see and hear about business continuity, the better. The company’s intranet site and staff or departmental meetings are excellent opportunities for this. Management can share updates on the outcomes of recent exercises, changes in the plan, and gentle reminders about the importance of keeping contact information up-to-date.
Test your laptop/mobile device policy
Do you have policies around staff taking laptops and mobile devices home at night? If so, do you know if staff are following them? A simple after-hours audit can be very informative and provide an opportunity to remind staff of the importance of your laptop policy for business continuity purposes. At the end of the day, perform a simple walk through of the office. If there are laptops left behind, there are a few strategies you can choose. The first is take the laptop and leave your business card. If that option is too cumbersome, you can simply make a note to speak with particular individuals the next day. Lastly, if you don’t want to single anyone out, simply send an email to all laptop users informing them of how well they performed on the impromptu audit and set a target for improvement.
Leverage annual renewal times
A lot of organizations have annual renewal times, particularly for health care benefits. While staff are busy reviewing and confirming benefit information, enforce a review and update of personal contact information. Remind staff of the importance of ensuring their contact information is up-to-date for business continuity purposes.
Ensuring that everyone in your organization is aware of your business continuity plan is not only good practice, it’s also something that auditors may go looking for. Once auditors are happy with the content of the plan, they may start looking for evidence of organization-wide awareness – we’ve seen it happen. Keep your employees informed and your auditors happy by leveraging small moments throughout the year to elevate your company’s Business Continuity profile.
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