When creating an effective business continuity plan (BCP), most business leaders focus more on complacency than awareness. Most of these organizational leaders assume that no disruptive phenomena would ever happen to their company. Take the current COVID-19 pandemic, for example. Most companies were caught off guard and didn’t have a robust business continuity plan to help them cope with the effects of the pandemic.
It’s good to be confident and not anticipate anything disruptive of that magnitude (as COVID-19 was). However, leaders need to demonstrate a more realistic approach to prepare for any eventuality in the future. That’s what this year’s Business Continuity Week set for May 15th-19th should focus on addressing. It’s time to emphasize the need for appropriate protective measures to ensure both complacency and continuity in case of unavoidable circumstances. Why? Because as a business leader, you need to rest assured that your business operations will continue amidst potential disruptions. And that’s where you need to create an effective business continuity plan.
An effective business continuity plan helps you minimize the impact of possible business disruption and improves your company’s overall resilience. However, for the continuity plan to work out, everyone within your organization should be aware of it and understand the different roles and responsibilities they’re expected to play. And that’s the focus of this article: How you can raise awareness for your business continuity.
Understanding Business Continuity
Business continuity is an organization’s ability to continue its operations even amid a disruptive disaster. For example, an effective plan helps you continue your operations in case of a cyberattack, a fire, natural disaster, or power outages. A good business continuity program helps your organization respond accordingly to such unexpected disruptions.
Why You Need to Raise Awareness for Business Continuity
Awareness is vital because it lets you bring everyone on the same page with what needs to be done and what’s expected. When everyone understands what to do in case of unexpected disruptions, it becomes much easier to implement the continuity plan and maintain the most critical operations as before.
The people who need to be aware of the business continuity plan include the organization’s senior leadership, department heads, and staff. Most importantly, include the IT staff whose responsibilities may be affected directly by a disruption. So how do you raise awareness for business continuity? Below are seven steps to inspire you.
Steps to Raising Business Continuity Awareness
Here is a list of seven proven steps to help you elevate your company’s awareness and prepare your company for any eventuality.
Treat Business Continuity as a Survival Tactic, Not a Project
Business projects tend to be one-off initiatives. You can implement them today and forget about them tomorrow. However, a business continuity plan is a survival tactic your organization needs to survive uncertain times. Therefore, develop a culture where continuity takes center stage within your organization. Give it the same priority as you would the health and safety of your organization. Let your organizational members understand why its implementation is critical. Let them know what roles they each must play to ensure company success.
Provide Leadership Support
Before you implement a business continuity program, find out what other organizations’ leaders at the executive level think about it. Let them share their thoughts on the proposed plan and speak their language to ensure everyone is on the same page. Also, put into consideration the organization’s long-term goals. Your business continuity plan should address and protect the company’s objects against uncertain times, not compromise them.
Encourage Teamwork to Build Resilience
You may be at the head of your organization. While you may be the brainchild of the business continuity plan, it’s an enormous weight that you shouldn’t carry alone.
Work with your company managers and department leaders within your company to create a culture of teamwork where they’re confident in fulfilling their different roles. Your time should be spent solely on educating and empowering other members to do it on their own for a long time to come.
Automate Your Business Continuity Management
Work with business continuity management software to automate the program and avoid inefficiencies and elements of human error. Let the software handle most leg work, such as creating and delivering reminders for business impact analysis (BIA) review. Automating BCP processes helps you focus more on improving the program and accelerating its maturity.
Provide Incentives to Employees
Recognize the efforts of your employees who proactively set to implement the business continuity plan and fulfills their responsibilities besides carrying out their regular duties. For example, if your staff spend about 15% of their time executing business continuity tasks, consider offering 15% incentives by linking it to their bonuses based on their deliverables. If you can’t incentivize your team, some small responsibilities may create an unnecessary backlog. Giving out small rewards helps create motivation to prioritize BCP.
Demonstrate the Importance of Your Business Continuity Program Continuously
Business continuity is the program that analyzes the essential aspects of your organization. Over time, you’ll take note of improvements or adjustments not just within the BCP program but also your overall business processes.
Are You Ready to Create and Raise Awareness?
When you’re ready to face any crisis, your business partners and subordinates will follow suit. As the key figure in the BCP program implementation, you need to ensure that your employees receive proper training and orientation on the best course of action to take in times of crisis. And these employees will implement what they learn from you today in future leadership roles. So, if you don’t emphasize the importance of BCP, they will not appreciate its significance themselves.
Here at Bryghtpath, we are experts dedicated to creating and elevating business continuity awareness. Developing and implementing an effective business continuity program is tedious and stressful. To help you out, we offer a wide selection of business continuity services.
Learn more about our approach and thought process around business continuity in our Ultimate Guide to Business Continuity.