The personal side of business continuity

Addressing human capital management issues during crises


Creating human capital resiliency: In crisis, do you overlook your most important asset?

What would happen to your business if your workers were unable to perform their jobs?  In the event of a natural disaster or a global influenza outbreak, how would you continue to deliver to your customers?

It is estimated that an influenza pandemic – a rare but recurrent event – could cause up to 30-50 percent of your employees to lose multiple weeks of work time.  

Recent research reveals that less than a third of companies have plans in place that address large-scale employee illness.  And of the companies that have business continuity plans to protect their physical assets in the event of disaster, many do not include strategies to address workforce continuity.

Two new IBM studies – one by the IBM Institute for Business Value and another by IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services – outline the steps you can take to prepare for and adapt rapidly to the threats posed to your workforce.

In the first study, we identify three primary areas in which human capital risks can be grouped: ability to attend work, ability to deliver critical internal services and ability to maintain business operations. And in the second, we look at the five critical factors that comprise a successful workforce continuity plan: command and control, communication, connectivity, contingency and counseling.

By taking steps today, you can go a long way toward making recovery from disruption swift and effective.

Download the IBM Institute for Business Value executive report

About the author

  • Eric Lesser

    Eric Lesser

    Research Director, IBM Institute for Business Value

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