Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Appreciating assets

"Our people are our greatest asset" is a popular phrase. And it’s true that many organisations do indeed value their people. But it’s also true that, sometimes, the degree of consideration shown to staff during recovery from a disaster or major incident is not as high as during "business as usual".

In the heat of battle it can be easy to forget that people are only human. Whilst many will perform above and beyond the call of duty when called upon, people generally don’t like being taken for granted.

Experience has shown that despite a successful recovery, in a number of cases, the organisation concerned has subsequently lost many good people because they didn’t feel valued. This is particularly true of staff deemed "non-critical" and therefore not directly involved in the early stages of recovery. The main complaints were that they felt unimportant or ignored and didn’t really know what was going on.

So avoid using terms like "critical" & "non-critical" in your continuity plans. Think carefully, before the event, about how best to deploy people post-disaster. Don’t assume that people are happy to sit at home and twiddle their thumbs indefinitely. Ensure people know what’s expected of them and why. And, if you do ever need to invoke your recovery plans, make sure that people are, as far as possible, kept involved and kept informed.

Your people may well be your greatest asset, particularly when it comes to business continuity. So look after them if you want them to look after you.