May 16, 2021


Connecting People

7 Business Continuity Lessons Any Organization Can Learn

Below are some habits that organizations can use to prevail over the problems, preserve staff secure, manage risk and appear by means of any disaster, more powerful than ever.

In “The 7 Behavior of Highly Helpful Folks,” Stephen Covey encouraged paying most of your time on actions that really do not seem urgent but are vital (lengthy-term strategizing, training and connection constructing — to name 3). For significant organizations, business continuity arranging has lengthy been 1 of these significant, however seemingly non-urgent, duties.

Picture: Pixabay

As the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the entire world, however, preparations to preserve and speedily resume business functions in the function of a disaster might not feel urgent until finally abruptly it is. In an prompt, the coronavirus disaster caused unprecedented disruptions and demanded modifications in how organizations sustain functions and manage their workforces.

As a significant enterprise with more than nine,000 staff globally, our enterprise confronted specifically acute problems in changing to the new landscape. From the demanding steps at the beginning of the outbreak to the careful gradual reopening of workplaces now underway, we’ve noticed our disaster administration reaction place to the take a look at. We have received vital learnings for dealing with the rest of this pandemic and, heaven forbid, foreseeable future ones.

Based on our expertise, in this article are 7 habits of remarkably resilient organizations in a overall health crisis.

one. They approach. According to a Gartner report, complete business continuity arranging for a pandemic minimizes the impact on team, assistance delivery and the IT infrastructure, and paves the way for a quicker return to normalcy. Our enterprise initially intended a international pandemic preparedness approach in the mid-00s, not lengthy immediately after the SARS outbreak, and we’ve rigorously held it up to date ever considering that.

So immediately after the initially reviews about the novel coronavirus emerged in late 2019 from China, where by we have above four hundred staff, we experienced a defined established of strategies to fall again on. For us, this reinforced that proactive arranging is the only way to make sure a enterprise is not enjoying catch-up in the function of a disruption.

two. They hope the unanticipated. Mainly because we’re a multi-location fairly than a single-location enterprise, we’ve generally taken a international standpoint in our arranging. But the virus’s speedy distribute took us by surprise — we experienced expected numerous waves of closures fairly than the single large 1 that occurred in March and sent dwelling ninety five% of our international staff. (The remaining five% have been considered important personnel needed onsite to preserve devices managing and guidance shoppers.)

We speedily recognized we needed to instantly tension take a look at our community in a way it under no circumstances experienced been before to see how it would offer with the crush of so much added website traffic from remote personnel. (Fortuitously, it held up perfectly.) The lesson: Even with all the arranging, be ready to make moves on the fly.

three. They adapt. Bringing again remote staff is not as straightforward as unlocking the doorways — the place of work must regulate to new realities. Past company duties and personnel expectations, OSHA, ADA and related statutes mandate that employers preserve personnel secure. So, organizations have not just an ethical but also a legal obligation to proactively evaluation and update their business continuity ideas to make sure that personnel protection is safeguarded.

Businesses need to examine new protection steps, this sort of as temperature checks in constructing lobbies, mask sporting, set up of sanitization stations, contact tracing and social distancing. What beforehand could possibly have been a 10-12-particular person meeting home might now be four a operate spot that made use of to hold a hundred people today might now have a quarter of that.

four. They educate. Corporations cannot merely assume that all returning staff will understand every thing they need to about the new regular. That’s why they should really employ a strong teaching program, preferably delivered electronically, addressing social distancing pointers and all other modifications.

five. They’re compassionate and adaptable. We have performed periodic surveys to gauge sentiment on how ready staff sense to return to the office environment. In the most recent 1, more than 80% claimed they are not. On major of that, a lot of remote personnel report sensation quite successful. And we know that a lot of have a good deal on their plates with loved ones obligations. The lesson for organizations: Do not hurry this method.

six. They acquire gain of engineering. Make contact with tracing has been a portion of our company’s pandemic reaction approach from the get started. While putting in third-occasion contact tracing apps on employees’ cellular products was 1 selection, we speedily ruled it out. These have to have people today to allow location tracking on their phones, which makes deployment complexity and raises privateness considerations.

As an alternative, we’re working with off-the-shelf Bluetooth Minimal Energy (BLE) tags that can be affixed to personnel badges. If somebody reviews COVID-19 signs, the overall health and protection staff works by using contact tracing to establish who was close to the particular person above the earlier 72 hrs and the length of publicity. In addition, the staff can identify where by contaminated customers have been within just the office environment and notify cleansing crews to concentration sanitization initiatives on people places. Warm zone alerting can establish congested places and divert people today with serious-time notifications.

7. They safeguard privateness. Location visibility in our contact tracing system is nameless, personalized info is not saved and access to the contact tracing features is strictly restricted. Information privateness pointers have been formulated in consultation with our company legal staff. Workforce who appear into the office environment signal consent kinds that allow location tracking and they are educated how the data will be made use of. The explanation is straightforward: Organizations must equilibrium their motivation to stop the infection’s distribute with employees’ privateness and have faith in

COVID-19 is a historic take a look at of companies’ resiliency. By exemplifying these 7 traits, they can prevail over the problems, preserve staff secure, manage risk and appear by means of the disaster more powerful than ever.

Brad Minnis is vice president of surroundings, overall health protection, and protection at Juniper Networks, where by he is responsible for strategic design and style, implementation and administration of the company’s protection, protection, surroundings, disaster administration, offer chain integrity, solution protection incident reaction and business continuity functions. 


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