When a pandemic threatens, most people focus on keeping themselves and their families safe. Public information in times like this is usually pretty good, with tips on how to protect your health, how to recognize early symptoms and how to best treat the disease.
But what happens to your business if a pandemic strikes? The workplace is a notorious hotspot for diseases to spread and with the economy the way it is, most of us don’t want to miss work unless we really, really have to. But if a pandemic threatens, you’ve got to do everything in your power to keep the workplace safe and productive. The only way to do that is by planning ahead.
Planning takes place at many levels: you want to be sure your HR sick-leave policies and insurance benefits are clear, as you’re likely to suffer a level of absenteeism like you’ve never seen before. Some staff will be sick, and some will stay home to care for family members. You need to have contingency plans in place for reduced staff and be prepared to support staff that, though healthy, may be stressed from carrying too much of a workload. If your productivity suffers, will your clients understand? What happens if the vendors who supply your raw materials suffer setbacks, do you have enough backup supplies to carry you through?
Pandemics can be disruptive, but they do follow a predictable path. If you have a plan in place you can be sure that your people and your business will weather the disruption. Make sure that pandemic planning is a part of your overall business continuity plan so if and when one hits, your business will be poised to recover quickly.
To learn more about the impact of a pandemic and how you can prepare, download the white paper, Pandemic: Business Continuity Threat, Impact and Response.