Business Continuity, Critical Event Management

Top 3 Tips for Business Continuity Awareness Week 2022

By Shannon Gallo

Business Continuity Awareness Week 2022 is May 16 to 20.

This global event is a time to consider your business continuity program and the value effective business continuity notification systems can have for your organization.

This year’s theme is Building Resilience in the Hybrid World. As burgeoning threats fill the horizon, effective security leaders will strive to understand the nature of dynamic risk. This type of risk is defined by cause-and-effect relationships that are unpredictable, interconnected and often create secondary and tertiary fall-out where it’s least expected. When reflecting on threats that fall into this category, security leaders often find themselves saying, “We were expecting Risk A, but then we were hit with Risk B.”

For those leading a hybrid workforce, dynamic risk is a difficult challenge. With over 90 percent of employers planning to transition to a hybrid working model in 2022, successful business continuity planning will focus on developing the organizational resilience that it takes to mitigate and manage dynamic risk.

However, currently there’s a marked lack of a detailed hybrid work strategy. The majority (72 percent) of businesses don’t have one, as findings from the 2022 Future of Work Study revealed.

The solution? Proactive critical event management (CEM). When it comes to developing a strong and consistent plan for business continuity in a hybrid workforce, proactive CEM is your strongest ally. 

How CEM Supports Business Continuity in a Hybrid Workforce

The development of the hybrid workforce as the dominant employment model is one of the lasting effects of the pandemic. Like any change, it brings both new benefits and new challenges. Relative to business continuity, leading a hybrid workforce requires an enhanced level of coordination. With geographically dispersed staff logging in from different time zones, organizations need a way to unite everyone towards a common goal, during critical events as well as day-to-day operations.

Severe weather, active shooters, cyber crime, global geo-political conflict and outbreaks of disease are just a few of the threats we face today. An effective business continuity notification system and modern platform for critical event management delivers user-friendly technology that enables reliable critical communications when every minute counts. Organizations with highly mature employee experience practices are 28 percent more likely to have higher employee accountability, more innovation, lower attrition and better customer outcomes, as discovered by a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of OnSolve. Solid CEM strategy combined with cutting-edge technology delivers the power play that strengthens organizational resilience in a hybrid workforce.

3 Tips for Achieving Business Continuity with a Hybrid Workforce

Particularly for hybrid workforces, it’s vital to ensure everyone feels like they’re part of one united team working towards a clearly defined mission. Developing this culture requires articulating a clear summary of your high-level organizational goals and conveying that summary to every level of your staffing structure. Communications are at the core of this effort.

CEM facilitates just that. By helping to eliminate process gaps and support organizational resilience, critical event management technology keeps everyone connected. This is why a reliable CEM platform is indispensable to the management of a successful business continuity program. To further ensure your business continuity and critical event management programs are working in unison at optimal levels, follow these three essential tips.

1. Make a Proactive Approach to Risk Management

When a critical event occurs, regardless of whether they happen to be in-office, remote or on the road, every hybrid worker needs to be kept in the loop in real time. This is especially true in cases of dynamic risk where the jeopardy to your people is constantly changing. A modern platform for CEM addresses this with AI-powered risk intelligence that detects and analyzes relevant events while filtering out the noise of extraneous data. This means leaders can keep pace with fluid situations and make more informed decisions.

However, only 38 percent of risk, security and CEM decision-makers say a key goal of their CEM program is becoming more proactive, according to the Forrester study. Yet, there’s a clear benefit to focusing on proactive CEM. Overall, the process of actively anticipating dynamic risks while prioritizing risk mitigation and management in advance significantly reduces damages – that’s how organizations achieve long-lasting business continuity.

Organizations with these highly effective CEM capabilities also report greater awareness of the true scope of risk, more effective incident responses, more integrated risk management technology and increased confidence in their ability to keep up with increasingly complicated risk management challenges, as found by the Forrester study. Practice is key to this process. When leaders can proactively identify any breaks in the chain, procedures can be reevaluated and improved before an incident occurs.

2. Ensure Cross-functional Collaboration

Once critical communications are delivered, a emergency notification software for business continuity that features two-way messaging makes it possible for your hybrid workforce to stay connected, mark themselves safe and/or request help as needed. In this model, control-center level visibility that shows you where everyone is located and how they may be affected is a life-saving advantage.

Overall, and during critical events in particular, siloed operations are the enemy of business continuity.

In a hybrid model, your workforce is already spread out. You’ll likely find different roadblocks for workers who are in-office during an emergency versus those who are working from home, and still others for those on the road. That’s why a 360-degree view is so important to maintaining the continuity of your operations. When everyone can see the big picture, it’s much easier to stay on the same page.

3. Make Technology Highly Accessible from Anywhere

Ease-of-use is paramount during the stress of a critical event. When shopping for the right platform, ask for detailed information regarding the complexity of training, as well as the availability of customer support. The efficacy of your communications system is directly linked to its usability. During emergencies when speed and clarity are necessities, your people need access to multiple channels that reach recipients on their preferred modality in their language of choice.

Finally, cutting edge features like geolocation-based visibility, global coverage and precise location sharing mean you can reach everyone in just a few clicks. A CEM platform that offers a mobile app makes on-the-go incident management not only feasible, but effective. Now your people can report critical events, validate online reports, chat with each other and send automatic alerts to pre-set contact groups.

Bottom line – in today’s hybrid work world, a successful business continuity program relies on a seamless combination of advanced intel, an expansive reach, an intuitive interface and regular practice. This makes a reliable platform for critical event management core to keeping your operations running and your goals on track.

When you can foster a mindset of organizational resilience throughout the organization, business continuity awareness ideas go from concepts to reality. For more insights, check out these five tips for strengthening organizational resilience in 2022.

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