Business continuity: Put people first

5 best practices for pandemic preparedness.

March 18, 2020

When developing a disaster preparedness and response plan, focus on protecting people first and then on safeguarding business operations, says Jon Bahl, CEO of Agility.

“This means businesses need to be particularly mindful of checking on employees’ health and safety, then focusing on their business and their partners,” he says.

Business interruptions come in all shapes and sizes, often with little warning. The COVID-19 pandemic caught many organizations off guard.

Agility recommends these best practices when developing a pandemic preparedness plan:

  • Identify possible health risks to employees (i.e., those with compromised immunity or who have traveled to outbreak countries) and challenges for them to continue working, such as school closings and caretaking responsibility.
  • Document your critical business functions, including the required resources to fulfill them.
  • Establish a crisis management team and ensure a continued dialogue about the event.
  • Evaluate and update your human resources, sick leave, and insurance policies. Follow and share CDC guidelines and updates with employees.
  • Develop a strategy to communicate your policies, plans, decisions, and news updates to your employees, stakeholders, clients, and vendors.

Mobile locations allow credit unions who’ve closed their lobbies to continue serving members. Some are using mass notification systems to communicate with employees when they’re away from work.

Agility, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider, is sharing free resources including checklists, webinars, and tabletop exercises to help credit unions and other businesses navigate the pandemic and other business interruptions.