As a business owner, you need the assurance that your business will continue to operate smoothly despite the unexpected. This is where business continuity planning comes in.
A well-developed business continuity plan can help you minimize the effects of a disruption to your business operations and improve your organization’s resilience. However, for your continuity plan to be effective, all organization members must be familiar with it and understand their roles and responsibilities.
What Is Business Continuity?
Business continuity (BC) is the ability of an organization to continue its critical operations in the event of a disaster or other unexpected disruption. There are many different disruptions, such as natural disasters, power outages, cyber-attacks, and human error. Business continuity planning helps an organization prepare for and respond to these disruptions.
Why Is Business Continuity Awareness Important?
Business continuity awareness is crucial because it helps ensure that all members of an organization are familiar with the organization’s BC plan and understand their roles and responsibilities in the event of a disruption. If everyone is aware of the plan and knows what to do in the event of a disruption, it will be much easier to implement and help your organization keep its operations intact.
Who Should be Informed About the BC Plan?
In addition to senior management, everyone who works in the department of an organization that is critical to maintaining continuity must also be informed about the plan. These include employees whose jobs may be impacted by disruption and those required to help implement the continuity plan, such as IT and security staff.
What to Include in Business Continuity Awareness Training
To ensure that all members of an organization are aware of BC efforts, incorporate BC awareness training into your overall training curriculum. The training should be conducted by subject matter experts who understand BC strategies and answer questions related to the plan.
The training should cover the following topics:
- An overview of business continuity and its importance
- The different types of disruptions that can occur
- How to recognize a disruption
- The roles and responsibilities of each member of the organization in the event of a disruption
- How to activate the BC plan
- What to do in the event of a disruption
- How to return to normal operations
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Things to Know as You Create a Business Continuity Awareness Campaign
As you create a business continuity awareness plan for your organization, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:
Ensure the Program Has Executive Support
A business continuity awareness plan with the executive’s support is more likely to succeed. Senior management should be involved in developing the plan and be responsible for ensuring its successful implementation.
When the management is enthusiastic about the changes or implementations, staff members are more likely to be on board and understand the importance of adhering to the BC plan.
Make Sure Employees Understand Their Role
Employees must know their role in the event of a disruption and what is expected of them. They should also be familiar with the BC plan and understand how to activate it.
Employees should be trained on the plan and encouraged to ask questions. The training should be an ongoing process and repeated as the organization’s BC plan changes.
Assign a Person to Monitor BC Plan Effectiveness
In addition to training staff for their roles, it is also important to assign someone who will be responsible for the effectiveness of the business continuity awareness program. This person can help you identify any areas that need improvement and make recommendations for change. The expert can also conduct random drills and exercises to ensure that employees can activate the BC plan effectively.
Understand the BC Is Not a Project
Treating the BC as a project instead of a culture built into the organization can fail. When people feel that BC is just another project, they will not see it as integral to their roles and responsibilities. Instead, the BC plan must be ingrained into all aspects of an organization so staff members can understand how it affects them daily.
Invest in BC Management Software
Business continuity management software help automate the BC plan. It makes it easier for an organization to implement the various steps involved in planning for, preventing, responding to, and recovering from disruptions.
An automated plan can also help staff members better remember what they need to do if a disruption occurs. With this software, you can manage your BC activities without spending too much time.
Create a Team Spirit When Designing the BC Plan
Teamwork is essential in the event of a disruption. Develop an inclusive BC plan that includes all organization members so that everyone knows their role in the event of an emergency. The BC process will be smoother when employees work together towards a common goal. It all starts by creating awareness of the importance of BC within the organization.
Incentivize Employees to Follow the BC Plan
Employees should be rewarded for following the BC plan. This could include giving them time off, a bonus, or some other type of incentive. When employees feel that they are part of the solution, they are more likely to adhere to the BC plan.
How Much Time Should Be Allocated for BC Awareness Training?
The amount of time that should be allocated for BC awareness training will vary depending on the level of understanding that is required.
In general, it is recommended that you allow at least two hours for an overview of BC and its importance, the different types of disruptions that can occur, how to recognize a disruption, and the roles and responsibilities of each organization member in the event of a disruption. The training should also include how to activate the BC plan and what to do in the event of a disruption.
The bottom line is that business continuity awareness is critical for an organization and its employees. By ensuring that staff is adequately trained on their roles and responsibilities, regularly monitoring the effectiveness of your BC plan, and incentivizing employees for adhering to it, you will be able to strengthen your business continuity program.
How Can Bryghtpath Help You Navigate These Uncertain Times?
Bryghtpath works with your organization to ensure that everyone understands their role in the event of an emergency. We also provide ongoing training and testing to ensure that your BC plan is effective.
Learn more about our approach to business continuity in our Ultimate Guide to Business Continuity, and then contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve business continuity awareness and create a culture of resilience within your organization.