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Minimizing Downtime: How Training Keeps Your Employees Productive After A Disaster

Originally posted on Alertfind's blog.

We all know that disasters and other unplanned business disruptions lead to downtime. The length of that downtime may well determine whether or not your business ever reopens its doors. Don’t let your organization get caught unprepared. Part of any emergency preparedness plan must include a recovery plan to minimize downtime after a disaster.

The Cost Of Downtime

It may seem small – a temporary network crash, a leak that causes the office to close for two days – but instances of downtime have a direct and far-reaching impact on your bottom line.

Can you afford to lose $100,000? Because, according to an ITIC study, that is the average cost of a single hour of downtime. One hour. While your organization’s actual cost of downtime will likely differ from the average, as it is dependent on many factors, it is still a price you want to avoid paying if at all possible.

One of the best ways to mitigate the risk is to fully train your employees so that they are prepared and know how to respond to a variety of emergencies. You can evade prolonged downtime by including this employee preparedness training in your comprehensive emergency preparedness plan.

Causes Of Downtime

To begin working up these emergency preparedness procedures, you first need to identify the main causes of downtime. Only by understanding these causes can you maximize your chances of preventing them.

Some possible causes of downtime are:

  • Hardware failure
  • Software failure
  • Active shooters
  • Cyber attack
  • Human error
  • Natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes and mudslides
  • Black Swan event

Take some time to scrutinize your organization and identify the biggest threats to your operations. Then, you can begin training your team.

Limiting Downtime Through Employee Training

How you prepare for and handle downtime will determine to what extent it impacts your organization. Training employees and establishing recovery procedures to prevent or reduce the length of downtime is crucial to the success of your organization. To minimize downtime your employee preparedness training should cover:

Continuity Plans

You need to get operations running again as quickly as possible after an unplanned business disruption. This starts by building business continuity plans. However, it doesn’t end there. Your team members need to be aware of these plans, and familiar with the details. To properly train employees, it starts with holding a preparedness discussion. Setting aside 30 minutes regularly to share information and motivate your employees is a key step toward emergency preparedness.

Responsibilities

Next, make sure that your emergency preparedness plan clearly outlines roles and responsibilities. Each employee needs to know exactly what will be expected of them in any situation.

Communication

Establishing lines of communication to be used during a disruption is paramount. By setting up your emergency notification system before an event, you will be prepared to communicate seamlessly. You can quickly send out an emergency alert out to your employees, notifying them of the danger and letting them of any actions they need to take. You can also use a conference bridge to facilitate real-time discussions between critical personnel. You can limit your organization’s losses if you keep your employees connected and informed during a disruption.

Data Backup And Recovery

Finally, you need to ensure sure that all of your employees are familiar with your data backup and recovery plans. According to a Quorum Disaster Recovery Report, data loss comprises 73% of downtime, so it is essential that you properly train your employees in this area. For more information on creating and testing data protection and recovery plans, click here.

The impact of prolonged unplanned downtime can be severe. And, as companies grow ever more reliant on their interconnected networks and applications, it is likely that downtime costs will continue to rise. Reduce the risk by establishing an emergency preparedness plan to maintain employee productivity after a disaster strikes.

Are your employees ready? Learn more about how to ensure your company is prepared to quickly reach all its employees in an emergency.

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