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How to win organisational engagement in Business Continuity

Published on May 28, 2019

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Following from The BCIРІР‚в„ўs Business Continuity Awareness Week earlier this month, we got to thinking about just how important it is to get the people involved with an organisation engaged in Business Continuity.

Between those within the company – anyone from top level management to those �on the ground’, to stakeholders, partners and more, engagement is imperative to make sure that your BCMS is a success.

But just how do we go about making that happen?

LetРІР‚в„ўs look at some ways in which we can encourage commitment to Organisational Resilience within an organisation.


The first thing which springs to mind in getting your staff motivated from a resilience perspective is understanding of the discipline as a whole. ItРІР‚в„ўs a common misconception that Business Continuity (BC) is just about systems and therefore only something that IT teams need to worry about.

Moreover, often a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) is coordinated by a very small team within an organisation – perhaps even a single individual who oversees the system – so staff can very easily be unaware such a practise exists where they work. You cannot expect to get people excited about something they know nothing about!

Education is therefore the first port of call in this process.

Find a way to teach employees just what Business Continuity is from a top-level standpoint, easily absorbed by those who may not be educated in the discipline. Be as open as possible in everything that the organisation is doing from a BC perspective. Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Perhaps a company-wide document can be created and distributed across the board to raise awareness of how BC works.
Maybe you can get everyone together physically – at once or in stages – and give a short training presentation or even carry out a live exercise.
Perhaps awareness could be created via group conference sessions or pushed out as an online training module.
Maybe this is just about putting up posters around your offices.

The methods which will work best will differ from company to company and be dependent on several factors e.g. size of organisation, number of locations etc. Find what works for you!

Knowledge and Understanding

Creating an overall level of understanding of Business Continuity will lay the foundations for the implementation and maintenance of your own organisations BC culture.

The first thing you might want to think about on your quest for peopleРІР‚в„ўs involvement in a BCMS is simplicity.

You are asking for all staff involvement – everyone from the CEO down – and these people all have their own roles to play in the organisation.

Time is precious, and you do not want to affect productivity in other departments with your BC requests. If you are going to ask your staff to be involved in BC Planning make sure that this involvement is going to be as simple and time effective as possible.

Creating several hundred manual plans and sending out Word documents or spreadsheets to staff expecting them to input their information for a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) in a way that is far from user-friendly is unreasonable.

Using Business Continuity Software such as that from C2, which provides automation of key functions, is of course a better way to implement such a system which requires company-wide inclusion and is a fairer way of asking people to carry out a task out with their usual remit.

With our system, emails are sent out to the activity owner and broken into simple, easy to follow steps to complete. This makes the task far less daunting for the user, especially if they are carrying out the activity for the first time.

Exercise and Testing

Of course you will be well aware that a key element in a successful BCMS is regular exercising and testing – more details on just that can be found in our blog on this topic here.

This is another activity which will require cooperation from the people within a business.

Exercises can be a good motivator in getting staff excited about Resilience. Rather than a theory based learning practise, getting involved at a practical level and simulating a live incident allows people to better put the significance and weight of Business Continuity planning into perspective and allows participants to see how best to react in a crisis situation.

Ensure that the exercise you choose to undertake is relevant and realistic for the type of business you are working within to maximise engagement and understanding.

Additionally, it can be powerful when the leaders of a company get involved in this type of activity. If staff members see top level managers and directors taking the time out of their day to take part, it can again put weight on just how importance this activity must be.

Following from the exercise it is a great idea to carry out a debrief. This will allow attendees to reflect on what worked, what didn't necessarily work and what could be done differently to allow for improvements within the BCMS.

How have you gone about engaging your staff in your BCMS? Have you found any methods which have worked really well (or not so well?) Let us know!