It is tough to know how to support your people working from home as an owner or manager. Many will drop in for videoconferences, which while somewhat useful, they can also provide another layer of annoyance to already challenged employees.

Working remotely is a challenge for employees. Apart from the social consequences and remote learning for children, the systems and processes provided were not designed for prolonged use from home. These systems are listed in your business continuity plans, and often they are incomplete. Therefore, your people are innovating and creating workarounds and not recording system and process shortfalls.

The consequences are frustrated staff, innovations not being shared, and the systems and processes are unlikely to be updated. It makes sense to investigate effectiveness when the systems and processes are most stressed.

As a manager or owner, the best thing you could do for your business is to engage your staff and review your systems and processes now. I can hear you thinking; my team are too busy to discuss this right now! You’re quite correct; they are too busy inventing ways, often individually, to deliver work for you. This is despite your processes and systems that were never designed to be utilised remotely for months on end. If you leave it until people eventually return to the office, you’ll likely move onto the next problem to solve, and your staff will put this lockdown ordeal behind them.

Imagine, within weeks, there is another lockdown (which is entirely possible), and you’re back in flux once again. As an organisation, you’ve missed a golden opportunity to plan. Alternatively, by formalising these innovations now, especially if your competitors don’t, you can have a strategic competitive advantage through robust delivery methods. The proof is in the pudding. Business continuity planning can, and should, be done now.

We are currently engaged by an ASX Top 100 building company to conduct a complete business impact assessment and business continuity plan. They see the opportunity and their clients are demanding effective business continuity planning is in place. Before COVID-19, we held our interview-style business impact assessments face-to-face. Typically, we would visit a client’s office or site and interview divisional managers, and team leaders about the critical business processes in their role. We now interview subject matter experts (SME) via Teams, Skype or Zoom.

Each subject matter expert (SME) interview takes 30-60 minutes via videoconference. The time commitment is about the length of a pointless Teams meeting! The process we deploy expedites the transfer of information, from the minds of employees into company-owned records.

Don’t let the current restrictions dissuade you from business continuity planning. We are sure that Covid-19 has shone the spotlight on what processes are critical to your business’s success, are which can wait.  Make sure that you’re ready for the next large scale business crisis.

Please get in touch with us to discuss this or any other of your risk and resilience needs.