The Many Factors of Crisis Preparedness
The list of natural and manmade disasters businesses have had to contend with in recent years is long. Many organizations felt the effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks, acts of bioterrorism involving anthrax, and bombings in London, Madrid and Bali. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic, the South Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina also have had costly,far-reaching impacts on businesses.
Chances are, like many organizations, you're making crisis preparedness and response a key focus of your business continuity planning. But even if your company's business continuity plan serves to protect its physical assets, such as data, network(s), core business applications and facilities, is it also addressing the human side of disasters?
Human Capital Resilience -- A New Area of Focus
Human capital resiliency can be defined as an organization's ability to respond and adapt rapidly to threats posed to its workforce. Organizations that can build resiliency into their human capital are more likely to protect their most valuable resources and maintain continuous operations in the event of a crisis.
The current threat of a worldwide avian flu pandemic is driving new issues surrounding human capital resiliency into the spotlight. Recent projections suggest that avian flu could potentially infect millions of people over an undefined period of time. In one severe pandemic scenario, it's predicted that 30 percent of employees would become ill, missing an average of three weeks of work.
Although companies are beginning to look for ways to minimize the impact of a potential avian flu pandemic, few have fully addressed the human side of crisis preparedness. In a recent survey, only 34 percent of companies indicated that human resource issues formed a significant part of their organization’s business continuity or disaster plans. Thirty-six percent indicated that these issues were only somewhat part of their plans.
Issues and Strategies
In a crisis, many organizations will be challenged to safeguard and support employees while continuing to deliver the services needed to keep the business operational and revenue flowing. Datajockeys has identified three primary areas in which human capital issues and risks associated with crises can be grouped:
- Ability to attend work
- Ability to deliver critical internal services
- Ability to maintain business operations
Datajockeys, LLC presents a framework designed to help you address these issues and risks. The responsibilities for effectively identifying and addressing the human dimensions of your business continuity plan stretch across the organization, including these areas:
- Policies and communications
- Employee education and support
- Virtual infrastructure
- Job training
- Talent management
To help businesses evaluate their level of preparedness and take steps to mitigate risk, Datajockeys, LLC offers a contingency planning assessment. An experienced Datajockeys business continuity and crisis management consultant can work with you to review and assess your readiness related to these key areas.
Contingency Planning Assessment
Today, businesses face a growing number of threats of disaster. And you face greater potential harm to your company from any single disaster, due to a more and more complex marketplace. Do you know how to protect your business during a disaster or crisis event such as a pandemic, hurricane or earthquake?
- Provides an independent review of your disaster response and business continuity program
- Delivers an objective assessment of your ability to cope with a crisis such as a pandemic and its unique stresses
- Leverages our crisis response team's experience along with industry best practices and government and health agency guidelines
- Identifies your potential vulnerabilities
- Provides recommended actions to help mitigate risks associated with the identified vulnerabilities
We evaluate key elements and functions across your entire organization.
Experienced Datajockeys business continuity and crisis management consultants work with you to help you protect your operations, your customer services, and your brand reputation. There is much more at stake than data and data centers, especially in a disaster or crisis scenario when illness and fatalities are widespread. Many employees, partners and suppliers may be unable to work for extended periods of time and there may be significant disruptions to normal operations.
We'll review and assess your readiness related to human resource planning; proximity to medical services; internal and external communications; supply chain capabilities; IT, network site and facilities infrastructure, security, customer support, and your business policies and operations.
You can choose from two levels of assessment:
- High-level assessment—designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized companies
- In-depth assessment—designed to meet the needs of large enterprises and government agencies with more complex environments or multiple critical sites
Are you prepared?
CIOs and other business leaders know that it's rarely business as usual after a disaster. The effort your organization makes now to protect your human capital resiliency in the event of a crisis will go a long way in helping it—and your people—recover after the worst is over.