Several previous tips (see ‘Self, self, self’, ‘We’re only human’ and ‘Let’s get personal’) have discussed some of the people issues associated with business continuity management, suggesting that people deserve more consideration than they often get and challenging the common assumption that people will be willing and able to do whatever we ask them to, whenever and wherever we want them to, no matter what’s happening around them.
Some of us understand that people aren’t the same as other assets; that they’re complex and sensitive creatures, not machines; that they often need looking after if we’re to get the best out of them and prevent them from breaking down; and that they might just have other priorities and commitments and worries outside of work.
Others will no doubt think this is all a bit ‘touchy feely’ and unnecessary; that people should just pull themselves together, get on with it and do as they’re told. And we’re all entitled to our opinions, no matter how mistaken or misguided they might be.
Whichever camp you’re in, one thing’s for sure – if you want to be confident that your strategies and plans will, in fact, work when you need them to, you can’t just ignore the people issues and continue with those flawed assumptions.
The fact is that people will be much more likely and much more able to support the organisation’s recovery efforts if their other issues and concerns are eased.
So even if it’s against your nature, a bit of ‘touchy feely’ consideration of your people’s needs and worries and personal circumstances actually makes good sense – even if your motive is simply to get your ‘assets’ (or, as some of us prefer to call them, people) up and running and working effectively again as soon as possible.