What can we all do to embed & improve awareness of Business Continuity in this new workplace reality?
This week (16 – 20 May 2022) is Business Continuity Awareness week.
BCAW (Business Continuity Awareness Week) is a global campaign to raise awareness of the importance of business continuity, its basic and essential best practices, and how to instil it within the organisational culture.
In the last 24 months life changed for us all and in some ways forever, including how we all work. The pandemic was a real test to our resilience both as human beings and businesses. As we start to come out of the pandemic and move into the recovery phase of our Business Continuity Plans, it is important that we stay flexible and keep reviewing, updating and exercising our Business Continuity Plans.
In this new work environment, companies all need to rethink the way that they embed, validate and raise awareness of their Business Continuity Plans. That is why the theme of this year’s Business Continuity Awareness week is Building Resilience in the Hybrid World.
We have compiled a list of our Compliance’s top tips to support you with your business continuity plans and activities.
Tip 1: Update your BIAs and Business Continuity Plans. When did you last update them and do they reflect your most recent ways of working, including hybrid working?
Focus on your purpose
Ultimately, you need to understand which internal and external activities, including your clients’ are most critical and timebound. This starts with your Business Impact Analysis (BIAs). BIAs should be focused on your clients and end users, their SLAs and the critical services, resources and suppliers that are required to deliver these. Business Continuity Plans should tell you how you will deliver these most critical services in the event of an incident.
Tip 2: Embrace BC incidents. Think of them as an opportunity to collaborate, learn new skills and improve client satisfaction.
Spell out the benefits and opportunities of Business Continuity to your Team Members
Business Continuity is an opportunity for us all to grow and become more resilient both as individuals and as a business. Business Continuity events often present opportunities for us to work with other teams and expand our skills because we have to think on our feet and adapt to the given situation. Sometimes it forces us to be more creative with how and when we deliver products and services with the least amount of disruption. When your clients know that you can deliver in the most difficult and unexpected circumstances, this increases their trust in you and improves client satisfaction.
Tip 3: Improving Business Continuity awareness is not about just about attending a training course You know it’s been successfully embedded when it is thought about in every aspect of your services and supply chain and every Team Member is aware of the part that they play in keeping the business running in the event of an incident.
Improve Business Continuity awareness and training
Promote thinking about Business Continuity in every aspect of your processes. This might include the next time you select a new supplier (what would happen if they were no longer around?) or how you train your team and ensure that knowledge is shared. Get your team involved in exercising your plans. Share lessons learned and successes from any incidents.
Tip 4: Expect the unexpected. Engage the relevant stakeholders before a situation becomes an incident. Sometimes a situation can become a major incident within minutes or hours. It will be much easier to stand down a team if the worst does not happen, than to create one and scale it up if it does. Raise the alarm early and be better prepared and better able to react more quickly if the worst happens.
Be prepared before an incident arises
If there is potential for a situation to become a Business Continuity incident or crisis, engage your line manager and your Compliance team at the earliest opportunity. Your Compliance team will then decide whether it is necessary to put the crisis management team on alert or to invoke an incident.
About the author
Nicola joined OASIS in 2018 through the successful acquisition of Box-it. In her role as Group Compliance and Audit Director she is responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations including monitoring and evaluating existing and emerging legislation and regulations which may be likely to affect our clients.