Business Continuity Tip of the Month   -  February 2010

Keeping one's own counsel

It may sound obvious, but disasters or major incidents affect people as well as systems, processes or facilities. Depending on the circumstances, some may be mildly concerned or upset; some may be severely traumatized; others may fall somewhere in between. But there’s a fair chance that many of those involved will be affected in some way.

Many business continuity plans recognize this fact – but how many go further than a bullet point or two along the lines of “contact the counseling service” buried in one of the checklists?

Frankly, this isn’t good enough, and it betrays a lack of awareness about how people might actually be affected and what their needs might really be. In fact, most experts agree that counseling isn’t usually appropriate at all in the first few days or even weeks. Intervention too early may interfere with normal recovery processes, and so should be used with caution.

There are some very good reasons for looking after your people, from basic humanity through to ensuring they are able to return to work and be productive – notwithstanding the fact that your duty of care as an employer extends to their mental as well as their physical health. So surely they deserve a little more thought than a line that says “contact the counseling service” in your business continuity plan?

 


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