Maintaining Business Continuity during a Crisis

Preparedness Makes the Ability to Continue Business

If a business experiences a crisis of any kind, one of the first decisions that will need to be made will be whether or not the business is going to continue to operate during the crisis. Because emotions run extremely high during a crisis and people do not think as clearly, basing this decision on a clearly stated policy effectively helps remove the stress. These criteria should be one of the first things addressed in a crisis management policy.

After the Decision to Continue

Once the decision has been made to continue business operations, you must have a policy in place that will instruct those in authority what adjustments should be made to ensure that operation will be as close to normal as possible. Several items must be addressed:

* Will hours of operation be able to remain unchanged?
* Will additional staff be necessary?
* Will overtime be approved?
* Should security be enhanced or changed in any manner?
* If there are changes made that will affect employees, suppliers, or customers, this must be communicated effectively.
* Will staff positions need to be altered?
* How long will changed remain in effect?

Once these decisions have been made, the information must be communicated to all members of management and to the employees. Communication is essential to keep all involved cooperating with the ultimate goal. Your policies should clearly include communications channels to everyone from upper management to general laborers. If the decision to continue business operations is made, management must expect some adjustments to be necessary. While the crisis management policy is crucial, any time modifications are made productivity will suffer to some extent. However, a good crisis management program will allow operation to proceed much more smoothly.

As changes occur to personnel and adjustments are made to operations, expect some glitches along the way. Changes do not always happen seamlessly. However preparedness will encourage a smoother transition. Patience during the transition will be necessary.

While it may seem that continuing business during a crisis is very stressful, careful consideration will allow you to realize that terminating all business operations will also create stress for businessownersArticle Submission, management and employees. Income stops and customers will be unable to obtain the necessary product or service in a shut down. This creates stress immediately and in the long run as operation resumes.