PlanB Consulting

PD 25111 – People in the plan

In my previous bulletin I promised that I would talk about some thoughts on the human aspects of business continuity and write a synopsis of PD 25111 which was published about a year ago. This document deals with the human elements in business continuity.

As far as I can see the document is ok, but I do feel it could have been laid out a little better.

It deals with 3 time frames:-

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

Each of these sections is then broken down into 3 headings:

  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 therefore you should bring in the professionals whenever there is potential trauma or actual trauma in the workplace.

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

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

On the whole there is good information in here, but it is not brilliant and is most certainly not laid out in the best format. Is it worth £198? For me the jury is out……

The 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 them.
  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 worrying 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 our 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?
  7. Have you thought through the policies which are required for working at an alternative location? For example 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. Dealing with anniversaries of the event.
  10. Communicating with staff about the incident
  • The facts
  • The feelings
  • The future

As this is such a varied area any thoughts you may wish to share will be greatly appreciated.

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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