The word “disaster” is often used for end-of-the-word apocalyptic movies or natural disasters that wipeout entire cities. Unfortunately, disasters can happen in the real-life business world. We are all too familiar with news stories detailing weather incidents like hurricanes, fires, and tornados, and things like cyber attacks, bioterrorism, employee shootings and hostage incidents. Know how to be prepared, what to do and how to recover.
Several recent studies suggest that between 75% and 80% of businesses that experience a major fire or other significant disaster will never re-open or end up shutting down within 18 months. That staggering statistic is much easier to comprehend considering that a mere 35 percent of small to mid-size businesses have comprehensive disaster recovery plans in place, according to Gartner Research. While “a lack of awareness” and “cost” are listed as key reasons why organizations don’t implement safeguards on their critical business information and systems, these programs are the best investment a company can make.
A company’s response to a crisis can have a huge impact on the way their employees, customers and the public views it. For example, following a data breach, people may perceive it as unsecure. In the wake of a social media gaffe, they might feel that the company is untrustworthy. There are a million ways in which crisis can alter your public perception, and it’s important to be prepared.
A major component of reputation management is your communications plan and seamless communication with stakeholders. As a crisis unfolds, a breakdown in communication such as rapid and responsive announcements to the press can make it more difficult to manage and recover your reputation. Your brand can come out of the crisis with a positive reputation if you stay ahead of the media and shape the conversation.
Business continuity plans and the related systems are bona-fide insurance policies, designed to protect an organization’s key information, applications and related files. If and when disaster strikes your business, there will always be significant human resource issues to address—often very quickly. Workplace disasters can happen anywhere and at any time, and telling the public “you had no idea” this was going to happen is not good enough in our high-tech, play-by-play informational world.
Let Audax HR assist you with:
- Being prepared by giving attention to the preventive and remedial aspects of any disaster prevention.
- Developing a response plan for reasonably anticipated events, such as an incident of workplace violence, so that internal players know their roles and outside providers—such as security consultants and legal advisors—understand in advance what will be required of them.
- Establishing your crisis communications plans using your intranet, company bulletin board, email updates, etc.
- Leveraging your human capital with your response plan to make employees accountable and active participants.
- Complying with local, state and federal laws and regulations.
- Meeting employees’ needs at a time of crisis (payroll obligations, timely communication, counseling)
- Preserving the human capital necessary to enable the company to recover from the incident and resume productive operations.
- Addressing fundamental issues in a post-emergency incident response.
- Negotiate and provide various resources and vendors as needed.
- Protecting your intellectual property and trade secrets.
- Complying with the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) that requires covered employers to provide 60 days advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff. Failure to do so can expose employers to government fines and an obligation to continue to pay wages and benefits to the affected employees.
- Complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – must be called within eight hours so that an investigation can be launched. In addition, other investigations may be initiated by local law enforcement, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Chemical Safety Board or a host of other agencies.
- Implementing your Disaster Team, comprised of company representatives must be ready to:
- Meet with OSHA or other agencies.
- Guide the inspection process.
- Oversee responses to government requests to inspect facilities and documents and to interview employees.
- This is a particularly important issue because OSHA can impose enormous fines and even refer matters for criminal prosecution.
- Developing a recovery plan.
Let us conduct a confidential compliance audit of your organization to understand your risk exposures better and plans to address if necessary.
Continuity Plan Development & Audit: A comprehensive Business Continuity Plan typically ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the size and complexity of the organization, number of employees, and number of locations.
Consulting rates: $175/hour or multi-service bundle discounts available and many of the programs above are included in our Total HR Management Services packages.
Call or email for quotes or for more information on the complexity and hours projected for your specific project.