In many organizations, the impression among employees is that Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans are only for the computer geeks. This impression is never healthy when it comes to Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans and planning. The best way to overcome this false impression is to empower your employees to act when a disaster strikes.
For Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans to be successful, the first step is to educate employees on all the aspects of the plans and give them an insight as to why they are so important for its success.
- Train from the bottom up – when employees are told how important they are for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans to succeed, they will get a sense of participation and will go that extra mile to ensure its success. Give practical examples of previous problems and how they were overcome. Employees should be given sufficient training to ensure that they can step into the breach during a disaster.
- Keep copies of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans in the cloud – depending on the size of the organization, the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans could be voluminous. When a disaster strikes it will be impractical to refer to lengthy plans to find out who does what. When the plans are stored in the cloud, they can be accessed by all authorized employees from virtually anywhere. This will help them to swing into action almost immediately.
- Conductor drills with staff participation – the practical way to engage staff in Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans is to include them in a drill. The staff will get a bird’s eye view of the simulated disaster exercises. The training then goes from a theoretical exercise to a practical one, where staff get to know why their role is so important and how they can effectively participate in Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans. This empowerment will go a long way in helping an organization during an actual disaster scenario.
- Empower department heads – once the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans have been drawn up, empower the department heads with the authority to execute them when a disaster is declared for the whole organization or for a particular department only. Once the department head has operational authority, he will ensure that components of the plan, as applicable to the Department, are carried out by the staff as planned.
Empowerment of employees may give the impression that management authority is being diluted, but this is far from the truth, because empowered employees perform at a much higher level. This is crucial during recovery.