The world is staring at uncertain times, thanks to a microscopic particle that has wreaked havoc in the lives of thousands of people and businesses. The global economy has plunged deep into an abyss leaving an air of uncertainty around it. Nobody is sure when it will revive back. Employees are being fired, production of most products have hit a standstill, many small businesses are closing down.
It is high time that every business is prepared for uncertain times like this. You may not know when a disaster will strike you. It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that neither its sales nor the employees’ lives are affected by any disaster. This is where an effective business continuity strategy will help businesses.
What is a business continuity strategy?
A business continuity plan is a strategic plan prepared by a business to drive its operations through temporary disruptions. The plan should ideally cover solutions to practical issues that may arise due to the disruption. Some of these practical issues include dislocation from the office premises, impact on customer service, loss or unavailability of key employees, impact on the supply chain and so on.
While formulating a business continuity strategy for your organization, seek support from the senior management of the organization. If possible engage a third party Business Continuity Strategy consultant to help you. Appoint a separate team that will implement the plan at the time of crisis. If you are unable to come up with an extensive plan, create a basic plan that will help you to sail through the crisis.
Business continuity strategy during COVID-19
We at KloudOne have formulated a business continuity strategy that will help us to face these turbulent times and emerge out of it without any major impact. Here are some of the key components of our business continuity strategy during COVID – 19 :
1. Utilizing Work from Home effectively
Since COVID-19 spreads human to human easily, a crucial way to stop it is by preventing interaction between two persons. One way to achieve this is by asking the employees to work from home. This will prevent the employees to come in contact with each other and at the same time will not have an impact on their day to day activities thereby ensuring business continuity.
In KloudOne, a work from home policy already exists in the system for certain employees. As a result, it was easier for us to adopt it completely by extending the policy to all the employees during their entire work hours. We consider our work from home policy as quite a success since there was no major impact on the following crucial KPIs after switching to the remote working ecosystem –
- The first reply time to our clients
- The number of internally delivered tasks
- The uptime level of the platform
- Total number of new leads
- The closing rate of new leads
However, businesses that do not have a work from home plan in its system, might find it hard to manage their entire workforce working remotely. Such organizations might have to make extra efforts to train the employees on effective utilization of their work from home options.
2. Effective utilization of the technology
During such a pandemic, when the entire workforce is working remotely, it is important to ensure that their regular tasks are not impacted due to their inability to interact face to face with other employees. Thanks to various tools that we already use to communicate with each other, there has not been any major impact on our day to day activities. Some of the tools that we use for communication are G-Suite for email communication, Slack for channel-based instant messaging and Zoom for video conferencing.
All these tools help us to stay connected with each other, be responsive to others’ urgent communications, be on the same page as other employees regarding any tasks, and maintain social contact with other employees. Most importantly, it prevents any impact on productivity.
3. Setting up communication routines
Besides enabling communication between employees, it is also crucial to enable a communication routine between the employees and the business. KloudOne makes it a point to onboard every new employee remotely with the help of a company presentation. Weekly intra-team meetings are held to analyze the performance of the team in the previous week and also share new learnings of that week by every individual in the team.
Blogs and guidelines are published regularly highlighting the ways to stay safe during these times and also on how to work from home productively. Regular meetings are held by the management reassuring the employees about the situation thereby avoiding any sort of panic amidst them.
The teams are also encouraged to undertake relevant courses during this time to help them grow in their career even further.
4. Regular communication to clients
An organization like KloudOne needs to have regular interactions with the client, be it during the initial demos or while providing customer service to them after they start using the product. No customer will like a delay in response to their communication even if it is during such times. The customer success team at KloudOne has been asked to respond to the client’s communication even faster now thereby bringing sufficient assurance in their minds that their business will not be impacted.
We, at KloudOne, have equipped our workforce with fantastic access to education for their growth, timely communication and easy availability of the information they need. During these times employees need emotional support. Lack of social life can have an impact on their mental well-being. Thus KloudOne ensures that there is minimal impact on their social life with the help of regular communication routines that give them a feeling of being loved and taken care of. Along with the employees, it is also critical to keep the customers happy in the form of regular communication and constant assurance to them stating that there will not be any impact on their business.