Recent business disruptions have affected organizations worldwide, with many finding themselves unprepared for the resulting impact on the workforce. While most businesses have continuity plans in place, many don’t address a company’s most precious assets: its employees.
In this paper, the authors have identified key areas for organizations to consider as they prepare themselves to handle the human side of business disruptions.
The list of natural and man-made disruptions with which businesses have had to contend early in the twenty-first century is long. Many organizations have been impacted by the devastating effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks; bombings in London, Madrid and Bali; and acts of bioterrorism, such as those involving anthrax. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic, the South Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina also have had costly, far-reaching impacts on businesses. The most recent outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) has once again forced organizations to address a range of business continuity issues.
Disruptions resulting from these and other disasters have rippled across supply chains, shaken entire industries and taken their toll on employee, customer and partner relations. In addition to these short-term crises, companies and government agencies also are looking at longer-term disruptions, such as changes in financial markets, political stability, workforce demographics and customer buying patterns that, while not immediate, will have longstanding impacts on how organizations thrive in the future.
Chances are your organization already has started to reexamine ways to significantly reduce the impact that potential crises can have on your business processes and technology systems. Yet, even though your company’s business continuity plan most likely serves to protect the company’s physical assets, such as data, networks, core business applications and facilities, how well does it address the human side of business disruptions?
While it is important to build resiliency into your business operations, it’s equally important to build it into your human capital. One way to help achieve human capital resiliency is to fully address the people-related components of business continuity planning. The authors have outlined some of the issues and risks related to human capital resiliency that could arise in any crisis.
In addition, the authors have created a comprehensive framework designed to address them and help you assess how well your organization is currently prepared to handle the human dimensions of a business disruption
See The personal side of business continuity: Addressing human capital management issues during crises, by Eric Lesser, Russell Lindburg and Tim Ringo, from IBM Institute for Business Value.