Be Prepared – How To Train Staff For Disaster Planning And Recovery
It’s such a beautiful day where I’m writing from today. Disaster planning and recovery is the last thing I want to be thinking about. But, as you’ve probably heard over and over through the course of growing your business, properly training your staff to handle an emergency is key to coming out the other end happy, whole, and ready for more positive growth.
Threats to your business can come out of nowhere. But, that’s no reason to avoid planning for them. You may not know exactly what threat you might be facing tomorrow. You can, however, develop a solid framework and stick to daily best practices. Before you know it, you’ll be laughing in the face of threats. Ok, maybe you won’t be laughing until you feel safe. Still…
Start by asking yourself why your small or medium-sized business isn’t better prepared to handle a crisis. I’m guessing cost is going to be the number one answer. Hiring lawyers, disaster security professionals, and anyone else who might help you assess your current disaster plan and develop a better one is expensive.
Today, I want to show you that you can do a lot of that work yourself. It won’t cost a fortune. It won’t take too much effort. Now, on this beautiful summer day when everything seems to be under control, is when you need to be planning your response to the worst possible scenario.
– Review the procedures you already have in place. Are they still relevant?
– Check your media strategies. Tell staff to avoid saying anything about the situation directly to media or on any social media platform.
– Choose a media spokesperson (even if that person is you!). Enrol that person in workshops (in person or online) that will teach him or her how to speak publicly about your company and how it handles disaster.
– Test your plan. Creating a detailed disaster recovery plan only goes so far. If it doesn’t hold up in a real life situation, all the time and money spent on it is wasted.
– Set measurable training goals. If you plan on running training sessions during a regular weekly meeting, write down the specific goals you want to achieve. Do you want to make sure your staff knows how to identify and handle malware and ransomware sent via email? Focus a session just on that. Figure out how to measure training success over time. You might put staff through a quarterly drill, for instance.
– Be the teacher. Sure, you’re the owner of your own accounting or financial services firm. No one knows your business, its risks, and rewards like you. Figure out what aspects of disaster planning is vital for your staff to know, and teach them in a way that accounts for differences in generations and learning styles. Don’t worry. Reaching everyone is easier than you might realize.
– Speak the message. First explain verbally what the focus of the training session will be. Second, explain what you expect your staff to take away from it. Third, give a brief overview of why the subject of the day’s training is important.
– Show the message. Words are great. But, pictures have a way of sticking to our brains. Use images to explain the process you’re training your staff to remember. Blow up the images, print them off, and tape them to the wall. The message will be in front of their eyes throughout the session.
– Does your business work in the cloud? No problem. Create visuals and store them in an easily accessible file. They’ll always be on hand for easy reference. In some ways, online training can simplify and streamline the sessions.
– Test it. Running through a mock disaster using role play is a proven way to help staff understand and remember every bit of vital information. Don’t limit yourself to just one run-through. Test and re-test often.
– Teach and re-teach. You’ve led your staff through all the scenarios. They’re bona fide experts in disaster planning and recovery. But, you’re not done yet. Take them through the exact same training after a few months passes. Repetition is key to embedding the processes deep into our psyches.
Do you have questions about how cloud computing fits into your disaster plan? Let us know!
Stay tuned – More on planning for disaster recovery if your business is online (wholly or partly) coming soon!