Over the last week, conversations about reopening the economy has been
on the lips of many. Whether this is premature is uncertain, but what is certain is that eventually businesses will gradually resume operation and work their way back into normalcy.
But what will resuming business operation look like?
Well, it most definitely will not be business as usual. The reality is social distancing will continue. All companies will need to be much more vigilant and implement strategies that facilitate and adhere to public health and safety. Here in lies a challenge for many companies. The unfortunate truth is some companies have vulnerabilities and barriers that may impede the successful reopening and sustainability of their businesses. Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that may include operational, compliance and environmental risks, whilst threats are barriers that can impede the successful implementation of your contingency plan. Together they both can derail companies’ business continuity plans. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/planning_pandemic.html That’s why enlisting the support of a contingency manager is not only smart, but in this time, can be a competitive advantage for your company.
So, who are contingency managers? And what do they do?
Contingency managers are the -insert favourite superhero here- of contingency plan. They identify threats and vulnerabilities to operation, create plans, procedures and technical measures that enable businesses to return to daily operation as quickly and risk-free as possible. To do this they use risk assessment methodologies to categorize your companies risks, low, moderate, high. For example, your companies’ vulnerabilities and barriers may include:
• Infrastructure- that is the close quarters of offices and workplaces are not built for social distancing,
• Organization culture – The lack of congruency at the top and commitment from the middle, poor communication and distrust and predominantly looking after themselves can prove to be counterproductive,
• increase absenteeism,
• regulatory modifications, and
• fear and anxiety.
From the information uncovered, the contingency manager determines the nature of the risk and sets priorities for critical processes, operations, and functions. Priorities include, but are not limited to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
• Updating best practices for health and safety,
• Education and training,
• Communication strategy,
• Issues affecting workforce:
o Paid and unpaid leave- will the employer still require the same level of leave substantiation (e.g., doctor's notes) that it normally requires?
o Excessive absences related to employee illness, fear, anxiety
o work refusal- reasonable and unreasonable. Employees will be fearful of contracting the virus, despite all measures put in place to protect them,
o policy to accommodate family illnesses, and
o employers tell employees that there has been a reported case in the workplace.
With all the work that will be undertaken with reopening, this could prove burdensome. That’s why it’s recommended that companies enlist the help of a contingency manager. Leadership is a key success factor in contingency plan. And if you want your workforce to feel confident about returning to work, they need to know you, as an employer, are taking all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Contingency manager helps to guide all members of the workforce. A business with no contingency strategy risks being crippled by major events because they are unprepared to adapt to rapidly changing conditions
Should you have questions or require assistance, please email Tenesia Benjamin at firstname.lastname@example.org.