Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The HR Checklist for enterprise-wide business continuity plans

Lee Glendon CBCI
Many aspects of dealing with the human side of major disruption are already covered through health and safety and crisis management procedures; however, the link between successfully dealing with these issues and business continuity objectives are often less clear. The following table details a list of questions to help understand how comprehensive your organisation’s thinking is around the subject.

  • Does your plan require cross-training of staff in critical areas?
  • Do you review people-related policies to consider whether they will hold up during a crisis?
  • Is succession planning evident in the plan?
  • Are there specific details within the plans, for example, dealing with absence levels from 15% to 50%?
  • Is it clear how communication with staff will be handled? Have messages already been written for each stage of the crisis?
  • If you are letting staff go, are you auditing the skills that are being lost against critical processes or assets?
  • Do you have counselling arrangements in place to provide help for staff in the aftermath of an incident?
  • Have you considered how you will deal with staff with special needs requirements at any disaster recovery centre or alternative site?
  • Are you confident that all staff contact data, including next of kin, is current?
  • Do your exercises go beyond a regular fire drill evacuation?
  • Is HR involved in the organisation’s crisis management team?
  • Does your plan cover common people-related impacts, such as high and extended levels of absence?
  • Do you have sufficient flexibility in contracts to deal with the need for change of location, extended working hours or other changes to working terms and conditions?
  • Do you have a process for locating staff to ensure that they are safe?
  • Have you reviewed your travel policy to accommodate the need for flexibility during and after an incident?
  • Do you regularly involve and brief staff on the organisation’s business continuity plans?
  • Is there a business continuity champion within the HR function?
  • Have you surveyed staff on their expectations of the company’s response to a crisis?
  • Do you have a staff information line or HR incident line?
  • Do you have established methods for monitoring threats and receiving government advice, for example, for pandemics?
  • Have your response plans considered duty of care and reputational implications?
  • Is there a consistent HR approach across all service areas or lines of business?

Give yourself one point for each area covered in your plan. Deduct one point if it is absent and score zero if you don’t know! How did you score overall?

0–15 points:             More thinking to be done.
16–20 points:           Good position to push towards excellence.
20+ points:               Excellent coverage of the issues

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