Streamlined communications, great customer or client outputs and positive working environments are essential parts of a company’s overall success. Of course, long-term success means that operations are maintained even when employees leave, management changes or the unexpected happens. A truly sustainable business is one that creates emergency preparedness and response strategies to protect business operations, customers and employees from unexpected events.
The best way to do this is to implement a continuity plan that covers a variety of scenarios, from floods and fires to active shooters, workplace violence and cyber attacks. With the right continuity plans in place, you can build a more resilient business and workforce. But when we talk about business continuity and business resilience, there are a few key differences to consider.
What is business continuity?
Business continuity planning (BCP) involves creating a system that helps companies prevent and recover from potential threats. Organizations need BCPs to ensure personnel and assets can bounce back following emergency events such as severe weather and natural disasters, active assailants, mental health crises and threats. These plans aim to keep businesses supplying goods and services functioning after disasters and emergencies.
Larger businesses typically have a business continuity manager (BCM) or team of individuals to develop these protocols. However, in smaller businesses, they would fall under the responsibility of HR.
The benefits of utilizing business continuity plans
Developing a business continuity plan is an essential part of ensuring businesses continue to run smoothly while protecting their employees.
With it, corporations can:
- Sustain basic business operations
- Return to regular operations faster
- Protect against financial losses
- Stay in compliance with legal requirements
- Ensure the safety and well-being of all staff and personnel
- Establish contingencies in worst-case scenarios
- Give everyone a clear picture of what to do in an event
These plans can enhance a company’s overall resilience and help employees and teams adapt to developing circumstances.
What to include in a business continuity plan
When developing a BCP, businesses should identify potential risks, then analyze how they may impact operations and compromise safety. All procedures should be tested to ensure they work and that all standards are up-to-date.
Regardless of if your business currently has a BCP and needs to update it or if you are looking to develop one, the following steps should be implemented to ensure accuracy:
- Business impact analysis: businesses should identify functions and resources that are time-sensitive and essential for operations. Implementing an analysis means that companies can prioritize processes that have the greatest impact on them, such as recovery, organization and training.
- Test activation strategies: each employee in the company should be aware of BCPs and how they will be executed, even if no action is required. This includes training sessions for key stakeholders and emergency management staff.
- Reevaluate: BCPs need to be assessed often. As times and laws change, they also evolve, along with the specific needs of each business.
Implementing these strategies to make a BCP work for your business can help everyone adapt to various situations and boost resilience.
What is business resilience?
Business resilience is the umbrella term for a business’s ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances while being able to deliver its objectives and continue to survive.
Business resilience is the overarching strategy and framework embedded into the company culture. A successful plan would include business continuity planning, crisis management, risk management, disaster recovery and incident response.
What it takes to successfully foster resilience
Business resilience does not happen overnight and cannot be done without the support of key stakeholders.
Leaders must consider possible disruptions and how their companies will respond to them. When leaders are prepared and have developed plans of action to respond effectively, crisis managers have a direction for protecting the well-being of their employees.
When businesses value the protection of all employees, they can feel empowered about their safety, especially in a world of unknowns and developing situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership must foster a culture of safety for this to work. They can do so with clear metrics, employee training and practicing those values themselves.
The benefits of resilience
Being resilient allows corporations to adapt faster to changing and developing circumstances and has several noticeable benefits such as:
- Supporting long-term growth
- Support financial stability
- Protect and encourage employees
- Foster an environment of growth
Without resiliency, companies would not be able to move forward successfully after emergencies.
Why companies need both to thrive
Business continuity allows companies to utilize the proper protocols to operate during immediate disruptions such as severe weather, natural disasters, active assailants, mental health crises, and system failures.
Business resiliency allows organizations to plan long-term plans to continue operations no matter what comes their way.
Implement a business continuity plan
Long-term resilience cannot happen without a pre-implemented BCP. Businesses cannot be prepared unless they take the necessary steps to do so, even if they cannot predict emergencies that may happen.
Involved all key stakeholders and employees
BCPs and business resilience cannot happen unless everyone is involved. Emergency managers should offer opportunities for regular feedback and input. Employees who know they can ask questions and share ideas feel more empowered about their safety. In addition, this feedback can promote safer behavior and reduce health and safety risks.
Knowing what your company may face ahead of time is important to building resilience. Involving key stakeholders will help them understand their responsibilities to execute exaction plans with greater efficacy.
Monitoring threats can help identify potential situations that may impact your business. Faster response times help mitigate losses and keep everyone in the loop.
Implementing business resilience with collaborative tools
Business continuity plans are essential pieces of smooth operations, but more importantly, they keep employees safe. Effective communication before emergencies ensures that everyone knows their role in emergency action plans. Keeping a constant line of effective communication is immensely important to ensure everyone stays safe.
Emergency communication solutions can reach, engage and protect employees when seconds count — whatever the situation.
A mass notifications system can also help with day-to-communications, helping employees become familiar with alerts via text, email and voice messaging. Rave Mobile’s multi-modal, two-way communication system can also send notifications in over 60 languages. Employees will find that they can communicate easily and feel ready for whatever may lie ahead.
Keeping a constant state of preparedness will protect employees without question. To find out how you can build a more resilient business, schedule a demo today.