As anyone who has experience of business continuity – i.e. the current Covid-19 pandemic – will understand is that effective communication is absolutely vital to ensure an effective response.
Planning for how you will communicate, who will communicate, when you will communicate and pre-drafted message for reasonably foreseeable events can make or break an effective BCP response.
Awareness of the BCP and the part they play within the plan is critical for your staff. Therefore, there’s a requirement to undertake awareness training for staff -both those that have a role to play, and those that are simply required to follow orders given.
And we mustn’t forget the additional training that may be required for ‘deputies’ within a response plan.
People can react differently to that expected in an emergency situation, so it’s vital that staff are aware of how they will be made aware of a BCP event, and what role they play within in. If they have a role to play, they need to have additional training on the specific response plan so that it’s followed should it ever be invoked.
Part of this awareness training and reinforcement can be supported by ‘exercising’ and ‘testing’ the plan as a team. This is an effective way of walking through the theoretical, taking the time to consider various scenarios and making informed decisions within a calm environment. This can prevent knee-jerk or incorrect decisions being made during the time of an actual response. Exercising and testing can and should also involve any key interested parties outside of the organisation in order to stress-test their ability to support the business in times of crisis. Any lessons learnt from exercises, tests or actual BCP events should always be followed up from a lessons learnt point of view to ensure that response plans are updated in line with any changes or issues not previously considered – and then they need to be re-communicated in the business.
Join us next week as we discuss how to engage staff with your BCP effectively.
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