If businesses learned anything from the recent global pandemic, it’s that they need to be prepared for unexpected disruptions. While many organizations review their continuity plans, they tend to overlook a vital strategy.
While a continuity plan provides guidance during operational disruptions, what about ensuring business resiliency? Business resilience goes a step beyond simple continuity plans; it helps organizations adapt and prosper in changing environments.
If you’re currently struggling to create an effective resilience plan, here are some tips to help ensure your business is ready to meet any changes that may come your way.
Run a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
Before you can create an effective resilience plan, you need to determine which business functions have the greatest risk potential.
For example, if your company relies primarily on parts shipped from overseas, supply chain disruptions may be one of the biggest risks to your business. Another example is shipping; if your company transports goods for other businesses, logistics is an area that may have the largest impact if travel abilities are placed on hold.
You want to concentrate on the areas that impact your business most and push the other ones to the side. You can always go back and address these minor concerns at a later date.
Keep Your Employees Informed
Organizations have a habit of keeping their staff in the dark about upcoming changes to daily operations.
Owners and managers mistakenly believe employees are more productive when they take a ‘business as usual’ approach. While this may be true when operations are running as usual, employees will notice when disruptions occur, especially when disruptions last longer than a few minutes or even hours.
Sharing company objectives with staff will help keep everyone calm. Your employees can also work with managers to prioritize critical tasks and help ensure the organization’s resilience to unforeseen changes.
Managers may want to elect some employees as team leaders. This way, everyone understands their responsibilities while eliminating the confusion that often occurs when changes are implemented.
Plan for Disruptions
The pandemic taught businesses that the unexpected will happen, and it can have far-reaching consequences. Along with the required temporary shutdowns, supply chain issues also affected organizations across almost all industries. While the chances for another global shutdown are hopefully slim, businesses can use it as a planning model.
Creating a strategic plan is an effective way to prepare for the next unexpected interruption to your business. So, how can your business plan ahead? You can start with scenario planning. Look at social, economic, and political forces that can impact your business. If something does occur, how will your organization handle the disruption?
As you create a resilience plan, bring in your managers and team leaders. Getting input from everyone will help you create an effective resilience strategy that will work in all departments and help ensure your business’s continued success.
Assess Risks and Available Resources
Part of an effective business resilience plan is constantly monitoring potential risks and tracking available resources. Assigning the task to various team leaders will make the strategy more manageable, especially for larger corporations.
Encouraging team leaders to monitor the risks to their departments and continually assess their resources will help ensure everyone is ready and able to meet any challenges as they arise.
Don’t forget about scenario planning, as this should always be part of your risk management strategy.
Create and Implement Recovery Strategies
Some things you cannot recover; for instance, a shipment may be destroyed due to bad weather or an accident. However, if you have a recovery strategy in place, you can start immediately on the recovery process. This will involve communicating with all parties, from supplies, vendors, clients, and your staff.
Whether you’re recovering lost goods and data or trying to get back on track after an extended shutdown, creating and implementing a recovery plan will help get and keep your business functioning after the disruption. Going back to keeping employees informed, you want your staff to be aware of your resilience strategy so implementation goes as smoothly as possible.
Test Your Strategy Often
Frequent testing of your resilience plan is a linchpin in fortifying your business against unexpected disruptions. Regular evaluations bring to light critical insights that are integral to maintaining a robust and adaptable strategy. They serve to identify weaknesses, enhance effectiveness, and instill preparedness.
Testing reveals how well your team can respond to various scenarios, measures response time, allocates resources efficiently, and evaluates communication channels. It’s an opportunity to fine-tune your plan by addressing vulnerabilities, improving cross-functional coordination, and honing external collaboration.
Furthermore, documentation of these tests ensures that lessons are incorporated into your plan, providing a continuous cycle of refinement. By learning from each experience, your business is better prepared to face any challenges that come its way.
Connect with a Professional for Guidance
Collaborating with business resilience professionals is a crucial step in enhancing your organization’s resilience. These experts offer various benefits:
- Partnering with Business Resilience Consultants: Experienced consultants provide objective perspectives, assess vulnerabilities, and assist in crafting tailored resilience plans.
- Seeking Expert Advice and Support: Professionals in the field offer insights into emerging threats, industry best practices, and risk-specific solutions.
- Collaborating with Government and Industry Bodies: Resilience experts often have valuable connections with government agencies and industry associations, granting access to resources and ensuring compliance with regulations.
- Networking with Other Businesses: Resilience consultants can connect your organization with peers facing similar challenges, facilitating the exchange of experiences and solutions.
- Staying Informed about Best Practices: These experts stay updated on the latest developments, ensuring your organization remains aligned with effective resilience strategies.
Incorporating professional guidance into your resilience plan can significantly enhance your readiness, enabling your business to endure disruptions and thrive in challenging circumstances. Accessing their wealth of knowledge and experience keeps your organization at the forefront of resilience practices.
The effectiveness of your business’s resilience plan can mean the difference between temporary setbacks and lasting damage. A well-executed plan not only safeguards operations but also ensures adaptability and growth in the face of adversity.
By running regular tests and seeking professional guidance, your organization can stay ahead in an ever-changing business landscape. Remember, resilience is not a one-time commitment; it’s a continuous journey. Embrace it, refine it, and be ready to thrive in the midst of disruptions. Your business’s future resilience depends on it.
About the Author
Jenna Kramer works as a Growth Assistant for a social platform where people ask questions, get expert video consultations, and share knowledge and experience. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering and has been working in the field of Digital Marketing for the past two years. She is also a voracious reader and a big sports fan.