As COVID-19 continues to impact governments, businesses and communities around the world, it has never been truer that a resilient organization needs to plan for uncertainty and be built for change. In these emergency situations, business continuity planning must be outlined in a Business Contingency Plan - a process that identifies potential risks and scenarios and provides operational solutions.
Establish Local Business Continuity Plan Team
This can be a small team to start with that can be expanded with pre-identified, named people. Representatives from HR and the business should be included.
Set clear objectives for the team and delegate areas of responsibility.
This team should specifically be made aware of what they are expected to do in case any of our people are impacted.
Cover Each Business Unit / Site Office When You Develop Your Contingency Strategies
Identify critical aspects that may be affected.
Develop interim mitigating/recovery guidelines and procedures for business unit operation for maintaining/resuming to normal situation if abnormality arise.
Identify backup resource as and where required.
Establish Communication Protocol
Outline a call tree system (emergency contacts list, staff telephone no., management contacts, government contacts etc.).
Decide who should communicate what to whom and at what frequency (to staff, associates, clients and other stake holders).
Keep in mind that all communication should be factual and do consider carefully how any message that you plan to communicate can be understood in the minds of the receivers
Work With Building Management
Where relevant, clarify with the office Building Management Company the emergency procedures they have (e.g. emergency contact, additional clean down, taxi arrangement etc.).
Discuss the expectation for special hygienic practices with the Building Management Company.
Regular reminder to all staff about preventive/mitigating actions that everyone can take such as personal hygiene etc.
Request Declaration for Health Status (both for the staff and their family members).
Study work from home / remote office / operations feasibility and develop relevant procedures (e.g. information security).
Update family emergency contacts.
Encourage staff members to take regular temperature checks before going to the office and remain at home in case of fever.
Consider not having all leadership being located in the same physical office in case of an outbreak. Develop plans in case virus is confirmed among staff where you should consider the following:
If the staff member has been confirmed no return to the office is allowed, even if it relates to pick-ing up personal things, and the staff member should immediately be put into quarantine.
Seek to map out who the staff member in question has interacted with during the last two weeks, prior to being confirmed with the virus. Depending on length and time of interaction, consider who else should be put in quarantine/work from home or remain in the office but being observed for developing symptoms in the coming weeks.
When you make your plans, consider different scenarios of severity and plan for minimum or no interruption of operations due to the actions you’re taking.
Ensure that your technology infrastructure aligns with you plans.
Regularly update internal and external audiences on the latest guidelines and business continuity plans.
Periodically review, amend if needed and refine your plan as required for change in status of the virus spread or other reasons.