PlanB Consulting

A review of Business Continuity Managment – Guidance on the Human Aspects of Business Continuity

PD25111 has recently been published. It deals with the human aspects of business continuity. The document is ok but to me seems not very well laid out.

It deals with 3 time frames:-

  1. Arrangements for coping with the immediate effects of the incident
  2. Attangements for managing people during the continuity phase
  3. Support for staff after recovery

Each of these sections is broken down into

  1. Well-being of staff
  2. Communications
  3. Mobilisation of resources

The sections and content seem a bit random although there are some useful bits in there. It manages to hold back from saying that counselling is the only cure for everything and you should bring in the professionals whenever there is trauma (or potential trauma) in the workplace.

There are some good annexes at the back which gives information on subjects such as:-

  1. Groups of people that might be affected by a disruptive incident
  2. Examples of human impacts of the most frequent disruptions
  3. Example trauma leaflet (this is extremely useful if you need one)
  4. Communicating with staff in a crisis (useful checklist)
  5. Other staffing issues policies that might need modification (OK)
  6. Vulnerable people and behaviour
  7. Example of anniversary communication
  8. Signs of distress
  9. Facts, feelings and the future (good)

On the whole there is good information in here but it is not brilliant and is jumbled. Worth £198? the jury’s out……….

Top 10 tips I have gleaned from the document

  1. Do we take into account enough human aspects or do we move staff around as part of our recovery plan without really thinking of the affect this will have on the people.
  2. We need to think beyond just the critical staff identified in the BIA and think about the affect of the incident on all staff
  3. Should we be doing a Human Impact Analysis to look at the impact of the incident on our staff
  4. Impact on people can vary from worry about future employment to the trauma of a death in the workplace. ‘Different responses are required for each situation and, whatever the circumstances, those affected have to be handled with sensitivity and compassion’.
  5. ‘Under pressure even the most effective management can neglect the basic courtesies and respect due to staff members, customers and others’.
  6. Do you know how to deal with death or injury in the workplace beyond calling the emergency services, getting hold of next of kin details and who will contact them.
  7. Have you thought through the policies which are required for working at an alternative locations such as will additional travel expenses be paid, do staff have to travel in their own time etc
  8. How will you reinstate working relationships and boundaries of the workplace.
  9. Deal with anniversaries of the event
  10. Communicate with staff talking about a. The facts b. The feelings c. The future

Any thoughts on the document gratefully received.

About Charlie Maclean-Bristol

Charlie Maclean-Bristol is one of the Founders and Directors of PlanB Consulting. He is also the Training Director of Business Continuity Training Ltd., a UK-based training provider accredited by the Business Continuity Institute. Charlie is a former Business Continuity Institute board member and one of the very few Fellows of both the Emergency Planning Society and the Business Continuity Institute.

A former Infantry Captain in the British Army, Charlie held several emergency planning, business continuity and crisis management positions within the energy and utility industry before founding PlanB Consulting in 2007. Over the past twelve years, Charlie has delivered business continuity consultancy in 6 of the worlds 7 continents, frequently providing full business continuity roll-outs to organisations of all sizes and in all sectors.

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