No one can predict the future or how events beyond the control of a company will affect its ability to operate. However, businesses can plan for these kinds of events. Developing contingency plans and identifying possible scenarios and outcomes can greatly help a company when disaster strikes.
A contingency is anything that happens outside the range of normal operations that can affect the company’s ability to operate. Contingency planning is about being prepared for these incidents and having a policy in place to keep you and your employees safe.
Below are 3 steps to preparing a contingency plan.
Complete a Risk Assessment
It is important to first identify what is considered a critical incident. A good definition may be a death or injury of one or multiple employees, any situation that may attract unusual attention from the news or media (such as an active shooter), or any Act of God or event that will severely interfere with the continuous operation of business functions. Do not leave this definition open to the employee’s’ interpretation. Ensure your plan clearly identifies all types of incidences that will trigger the plan of action.
Develop the Plan
When developing your workplace contingency plan, there are many things to keep in mind. Remember, your main goal is to keep your business open, even if it is housed in temporary quarters for a set time period.
- In the plan, outline time periods to keep employees on track.
Plan out what must be done in the first hour, day and week of the incident. Sticking to a strict timeline will ensure no important details are left out. Also, make sure all employees know what triggers the implementation of the plan. Delegate jobs and roles to employees at each stage of the implementation to keeps things running smoothly.
- Make sure the plan is simple.
In a time of chaos and panic, employees won’t be in the right state of mind to read through pages and pages of information. Using simple language and outlining each step of the plan will help employees pull together and work through the situation.
- Look for opportunities to reduce risk in your workplace.
This may be as simple as developing drug-free workforce policies or having safety training about floor exit strategies. .
Maintain the Plan
After preparing your contingency plan, there are several steps that should be followed in order to keep it relevant. As your business changes, the plan may need to be reviewed and updated. Here are four steps to keep in mind when maintaining your contingency plan:
- Ensure all employees are aware of the plan and provide regular training to keep employees updated.
Also, provide training for all new employees. Make sure all employees know their roles when disaster strikes.
- Conduct disaster drills to prepare employees for dangerous situations.
Assess the results of training and drills and make any necessary changes to the plan. Make sure some of the drills are random and unplanned, so you can assess employee readiness.
- Review the plan regularly.
If there are changes that need to be implemented, make sure to distribute new copies of the plan to all employees and discard and old copies to avoid confusion.
- Keep copies of the plan off-site in a place that is easily accessible in case of emergency.
I would suggest you keep it on a secure cloud based platform. That way employees can access the plan anytime from anywhere and from any device.
Following these steps and creating a workplace contingency plan can help keep your company cool, calm and collected when disaster strikes. Ensuring all employees know their role and what to do in a disastrous situation is paramount in keeping your business running smoothly.
SACS Consulting Can Help Develop Your Contingency Plan
SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc. understands it’s scary when disaster strikes your business. Give us a call today at (330) 255-1101 to ask about our workplace trainings so we can help make sure you have the right policies in place to protect your organization and those around you.