Business Continuity in the Face of Crisis

Casey Kelley
By: Casey Kelley
Date: June 11, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has brought many challenges to HR organizations. Helping employees adjust to remote work, keeping them safe, and supporting critical areas of the business, including payroll operations and maintaining business continuity have been some of the struggles HR has faced in recent months. As a result, Human Capital Management (HCM) systems implemented prior to the public health crisis have become invaluable.

Many organizations with an HCM system in place are not using it to its full potential. For example, succession planning is critical to future success, yet many organizations do not have a formal succession plan in place. Now that it’s clear the impact of COVID-19 will be with us for a while, succession planning and emergency succession planning so the business is prepared for unforeseen events is critically important. Unsure of where to start? Consider the following tips.

Identify critical positions and skills. Consider the employees and skills involved in key positions that keep things moving. What are the attributes or skills that make these roles critical? Document the attributes, skills, and processes needed for critical roles and assess where interruptions to in the human supply chain might exist. For example, if key staff members in the process gets sick, is there business interruption? By identifying employees, skills, and roles, organizations can move toward better business continuity.

Drive training to support the business. Job analysis that reveals the knowledge, skills and abilities required for each role allows for strategic talent development. An HCM system can help identify gaps and where you need to prepare the workforce to drive training and skill sharing opportunities. Identifying key skills and attributes for employees makes gaps easier to solve for and ensures that the business moves forward. Employees can be better aligned to the business need and their specific skill sets and can be more efficient in their job roles.

Consider the implications of change. Workforce reductions, shifting responsibilities, and rapid movement to work from home have brought widespread change to how business gets done. Think about how critical gaps will be addressed. This may require looking at available skills and thinking differently about how work gets accomplished. A strategic approach to change management can help minimize dips in productivity, employee uncertainty and delay in ability to move forward.

 Leverage your current technology. Tracking where skills exist within the organization can pose challenges, especially when individuals work on cross-functional teams. HCM systems allow for business clarity when trying to identify talent and skill gaps for business continuity and succession planning. Cloud-based HCM can help organizations not only respond to impacts from the coronavirus but manage for the future.

Leveraging existing resources and maintaining business continuity is something all businesses need to consider. Check out Avaap’s recent webinar, Leveraging Your Human Supply Chain and learn additional strategies to keep your business moving toward the future.

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