Click here to get this post as a PDF and read it later!
If there’s one thing that we can all say about 2020, is that it’s been a lesson. Businesses who were not prepared for something like a pandemic have now begun to implement plans for this happening again. People who didn’t have a backup plan for bills have started emergency funds. It’s been a harsh lesson for many to learn that they are not invincible, and businesses have been the hardest hit in this pandemic we’ve been riding through. Most businesses have never had to deal with any kind of interruption like this, which is why it’s more important than ever to have a plan and know how to handle it when nature throws a curveball.
Leaders like Deepak Agarwal have talked about how to keep steering a business inthe right direction, which is helpful to know that you’re not alone. Businesses need to prepare for all kinds of emergencies, and we’ve got some of the most important tips you’ll ever need when it comes to getting ready for an emergency that could affect your business.
Make A Plan
When was the last time you looked at your business continuity plans? Did you know that one in every five companies do not have this kind of plan in place? It’s not just something you write for the beginning of your business when you start out, but something that should be reviewed every month or so. You need to know what your go-to response will be to keeping your business going in times of chaos, and a business continuity plan is going to help.
Gather A Team
You may have a team of fifty people but you need only five of those to take point in an emergency. These hand-picked few need to be debriefed on what to do if the proverbial hits the fan, and you should consider that these are the people who will take points and lead mini-teams of others in an emergency situation. They’ll be able to help with keeping operations running and be a person to communicate to from the rest of the team. They will also work hard to return things to normal as soon as possible.
Have A Remote Backup
Speak to your IT team and make sure that you have a plan in place to work remotely when your office has become inaccessible. Not only do you need to make sure that you have infrastructure in place for remote working, but you need to have equipment to send home with your employees so that they can be effective in their roles. Remote working has taken over this year, so make sure that you have a written plan in place and the equipment to back it up budgeted for and ready!
Take Down The Panic
Not only do you have to negotiate the worry from your coworkers about the shortages of food and toilet paper, you have to make sure that you are taking action while not panicking your staff. Keep the lines of communication open in a crisis – people need to know what’s going on and you are the only one who’s going to tell them what’s happening. You can dispel a lot of the worry when you just talk to people. If you have a plan for a lockdown, communicate this to your staff so that they don’t feel fear, only security that you are going to look after them when things go wrong.
Get Ready Financially
Your finances are going to take the biggest hit during a pandemic. You may have to pay staff when they’re not working, and that can feel painful in the business bank account. The government has rolled out several pandemic payment programs that you can utilize if you find there is too much of a pinch. Find ways to keep people working if you can, too, and discuss the situation with your vendors so that they will continue with you, too.
Talk About Time Off
While we are all on the watch for COVID-19 symptoms, you need to consider your current sick-day policies. If people are presenting with symptoms, then ask them to work at home where they can. They will then be able to take the required isolation time off without compromising their income or your workplace policies. Make sure that your staff know that you are looking out for them!
Embrace Better Office Hygiene
Install sanitation stations and extra soaps for handwashing, and use paper towels instead of dryers in the bathrooms. Allocate your cleaning budget to a special deep-cleaning company offering COVID clean-ups. This is an investment that makes your staff and your vendors feel safe.