Business Continuity Plan: Thinking Beyond IT

Raghunath.T, Director


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    Many of us have a notion that emergency and disaster planning are the core responsibility of IT team. While they do have a major role in managing crises, the human resource management also plays a prominent role in planning for any disaster or emergency. HR helps in developing a business continuity plan that enables companies prepare for pandemics and natural disasters.

    The corona virus outbreak has resulted in a global lockdown; the normal work routine of majority of the businesses has been disrupted and a major chunk of the population is working from home. It is during times like these we realize the true significance of a business continuity plan.

    BCP involves a set of procedures that helps businesses operate normally even at the time of unexpected events. While it is essential to keep the business operational and revenue flowing, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the lives of employees. BCP outlines plans and criteria that safeguard and support employees, without any drastic effects on business. It provides detailed strategies to manage business operations for both short-term and long-term outages.

    Business continuity plan ensures smooth flow of your business even in the worst scenario. The following things need to be taken care of while developing a business continuity plan;

    • How and from where the employees will be working?
    • Do they have the required equipments and connectivity?
    • How will they get paid? Will there be any deduction from their salaries?
    • Mode of communication between employees and with the management
    • How many hours are they expected to work and methods to track the work
    • Should they follow the normal office hours or is it flexible?

    Employees should be educated about the situation and what is expected of them. The circumstance might demand certain employees to go on long leave, without pay and for some there might be changes in their roles and responsibilities. The HR must see it to that they are made aware of the ongoing crisis so that they accept the decision without grudges and support any other initiatives you plan to implement to handle the situation.

    The ultimate objective of BCP is to ensure that the business is equipped with necessary resources, information and capabilities to deal with emergencies. We cannot prevent a pandemic or natural disaster; the least we can do is prepare ourselves for one. When you have a plan in advance, the process becomes much easier and hassle-free.

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