Your organization’s actual ability to respond to and recover from an event is directly related to employee readiness across the organization.
It is important to note that too many times we train only those directly involved in key recovery positions and do not train the lower levels of the organization. To determine employee readiness, or how well employees are prepared, ask people across the organization if they know what BCP is or what they are supposed to do in an emergency. If possible, ask not only individual contributors, but senior management as well.
It is important to note that too many times we train only those directly involved in key recovery positions and do not train the lower levels of the organization. To determine how well employees are prepared, ask people across the organization if they know what BCP is or what they are supposed to do in an emergency. If possible, ask not only individual contributors, but senior management as well.
Employee readiness must be heightened both at work and at home. If people are not available because of their personal situation, they cannot assist with any business recovery. Remember, individuals will be most concerned about themselves and their family (and rightfully so). If their personal situation is not safe or stable, they will be distracted at best, or unavailable at worst.
Training at Work
All employees should understand and be able to answer the following questions for their business unit:
• Who is in charge of recovery for my department?
• What is the phone number of the Employee Status Line or website address where I can get up-to-date information?
• Where do I report after an emergency is announced? What is the location of the initial meeting site or alternate recovery site?
• What are my designated responsibilities? Do I have a role as a member of one of the emergency response teams? If not, what are my responsibilities?
• Who are the company employees I contact immediately if I identify an emergency or if I am contacted regarding an emergency?
• If one of my emergency contacts is not at his/her desk, how would I contact him/her?
• Is my emergency notification recall list current and can I locate it? Is it available even if I don’t have a workstation?
Training at Home
For an event impacting the community, residential neighborhoods, or a large number of people, employees must be prepared at home. If not, you will have a reduced workforce to support your recovery needs. FEMA provides an excellent site where you can direct employees for guidance in preparing at home for an event that may impact their families (see www.ready.gov). Employees should be able to answer the following questions:
• How will I determine where my family and friends are? How will I contact them?
• Do we have an identified place to meet if our home is not accessible?
• Do I have access to important personal information such as medical, insurance, financial, credit cards, etc?
A few final thoughts to consider:
• Regular communication and reminders on BCP information is essential. You must keep the information relevant and accessible (both physically and on a conscious level).
• Think about how much training and information long-term contractors and temporary employees may require. They may have critical roles during recovery as well.
Remember, the time you spend on employee readiness – ensuring people are prepared, trained, and ready at work and at home – is just an important as the technical and process preparations in your BCP program.