It’s difficult to underestimate the value of a robust training programme in the wake of disruptive events. However technologically-prepared an organisation is, merely providing the devices that support flexible and mobile working will not be sufficient to remain business-ready throughout disruption. Adequately disseminating knowledge and contingency plans throughout your organisation is as vital to business continuity as the mobile devices themselves. In short, mobile working initiatives are not synonymous with business continuity plans. The most rudimentary question to ask is whether staff know how to use the equipment they have been given in the situation they’re faced with. Provisioning mobile devices for remote working is all well and good, but ensuring staff know how to, say, log on via a secure external VPN is key to ensuring the effectiveness of any given solution. This is basic knowledge, but without a thorough plan to distribute it, your staff could fall at the first hurdle when faced with widespread disruption. More complicated enquiries and problems might well justify a call for technical support. But what if your support staff are also unable to get to work? Are they equipped to assist users from outside of the office, and in the potential volumes that a crisis might produce? With a seemingly small number of oversights, it is not unreasonable to expect operations to grind to a halt.
Separate Plans, Same Results
There are preventative measures that can be taken to avoid unnecessary risks. User-profiling for instance, is doubly important when explaining procedure in a crisis. The support staff in the above example require very different instructions to work remotely than the standard desk-based user. The same will be true for many backoffice workers, particularly if they are support or technical staff. Successful contingency plans will appreciate the differing degrees of access required to work remotely per user group and will allow them time to familiarise themselves with business continuity processes before disruption occurs, or access training at the moment of need. Indeed, compiling disparate instructions into one catch-all master document is a hugely inefficient method of distributing knowledge, and yet many organisations consider this adequate business-continuity planning. Equipping people with the relevant information reduces unnecessary confusion, but more importantly, reduces the delay between initial crisis and business readiness, which should be the main objective of any business continuity plan. Of course, in the event of major disruption, employees do not want to be trawling through their hard drives looking for that instructional document they received on their first day. Investing in more engaging training content and hosting it in an easily accessible place will ensure your organisation doesn’t skip a beat, no matter what the circumstances. 2e2 work with clients to produce short, relevant highquality content using their virtual studio offering. Using internal subject matter experts, 2e2 can produce a bank of instructional videos explaining detailed procedures and processes in a concise, easily understandable format to employees.
Hosting this kind of content in a secure, easily accessible place, such as a learning management portal, will ensure employees have easy access to the information they need, wherever, and whenever they need it. More generally, making sure employees do not regard mobile working from home, or elsewhere) as disruptive in itself is a key component to business continuity. Essentially, the sign of a successful strategy is the passing of apparently disruptive conditions without event. Ensuring staff are equipped with the relevant tools (which includes over provisioning, as well as under) and feel comfortable using them with will reduce downtime and stress among employees in a crisis. With these resources in place, organisations are equipped to activate emergency plans as soon as news of disruption is announced. Notifying staff of pre-existing training content is an almost instantaneous process, and if organisations can adopt this proactive (as opposed to reactive) approach to business continuity, then the effects of any disruption should be virtually negated. Of course, the success of any strategy is directly proportional to the quality of the content. Bespoke, high quality, concise video content, delivered by relevant subject matter experts has proven time and time again to be the best way of distributing knowledge amongst staff. Whilst the devices and methods of remote working are instrumental in ensuring high levels of business continuity, where human agency is required, the easy availability of knowledge will determine the success or failure of any business continuity plan.