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IBM - Five critical success factors in overcoming workforce disruptions

Published by Jason Koffler on 12 May 2013

An event that disrupts your business, no matter how limited or broad in scope, can undermine your ability to remain competitive—and maybe even to survive. But while disaster recovery planning for your facilities and technology is critical to your business continuity, you also need to fully consider the impact of a disruption on your most valuable asset: your employees.

What would happen to your business if your workers were unable to perform their jobs?

If critical operations are broken in one area, do you have a well-tested plan to transition the work—and possibly your staff—to another, unaffected area? Severe weather could impact mobility and keep employees from getting to your facility. A power outage could prevent workers from getting online or taking critical phone calls. Pandemics, terrorism, and natural and manmade disasters can be life-threatening or hinder your workforce from its ability to continue business in multiple ways.

The perfect storm: Are you ready?

It’s five o’clock on a Friday afternoon in September, the height of hurricane season, and you’re finishing quarterly reports. Your organization has just experienced another huge round of layoffs, leaving you with a sparsely staffed IT department.

You can’t help but worry about who has the skills to assume the duties of your
departing database administrator. That reminds you that you’ll also need to replace your long-time human resources director who plans to retire next year.

And at the same time, you’re trying to write a corporate instruction that will allow employees to work from home if your area is affected by the pandemic that world health lead-ers have predicted.

Meanwhile, local authorities have just issued a voluntary evacuation request of the county where your primary manufacturing facility is located, because a Category 5 hurricane is barreling toward it.