April 1, 2020

Business Continuity – 5 Actions You Need Today

HR Business leaders see managing a crisis as an inevitable part of their role. And this Coronavirus crisis will for sure test most of them to the limit.  It’s important for HR and business leaders to set things right today and plan ahead. Here are 5 practices you should implement during this outbreak to ensure your organization is in the best shape possible to withstand what’s ahead.

1. Update your crisis and continuity plans​

Every well-run business has a crisis or continuity plan. But it’s also apparent that nothing tests theory quite like reality. Generic programs need to be adapted and tailored to cope with the specific challenges of a pandemic. For example, many businesses suggest their employees work remotely at home, but the question here is that: is there enough technology bandwidth to cope? How will communication with employees be managed? How will data flow during this crisis? All these questions need to be solved now and ensure every issue has a solution.

2. Fix the supply chain

Do you have a clear sight of your business’ supply chain? Having a clear understanding of your supply chain will help to expose any potential vulnerabilities. This means beginning with the most critical products and looking well beyond first- and second-tier suppliers, right down to the raw materials, if possible.

3 Communicate – Communicate – Communicate

Employers must not stop trying to keep their employees well-informed; however, the media frenzy may be amping up our fears, and disinformation and confusion have spread along with the virus. It is also the leaders’ duty to bring reassurance to your workforce. What they need to know is that they are being protected and that the business is prepared. Consistency and accuracy of messaging is the key, as is reassurance from the top of the organization; your workforce will need to know that their welfare is paramount.

4. Analyse Possible Scenarios​

With uncertainty rife, and Coronavirus holding the potential to impact every part of a business for months, scenario planning is a critical tool to test preparedness. What are the best- and worst-case scenarios, and is the business equipped to cope? What could be the impact in the longer term? Sectors like hotel and hospitality experience a sharp fall in demand – are they prepared for this, and what is their Plan B?  

5 Think ‘360’ for Other Risks

Coronavirus isn’t the only threat on the horizon — and often organizations are at their most vulnerable state when dealing with a crisis that dominates their attention. The many other risks that your business faces aren’t diminished by a pandemic. Working capital, licence expiration, collections and future work force requirements, for example, should be things to keep in mind.