HR Workforce Disaster Plan For H1N1 Pandemic


The H1N1, formerly know as swine flu, has been in the news for a few months.  It was thought to have leveled off but it appears that this may not be the case.  Long story short, it looks like the world is going to be hit with a pandemic.  This method lots of people sick and lots of people caring for sick family members.  What this method to your business is that you need to prepare now! 

Tips on Preparation

If your company does not have a disaster recovery plan, now is the time to get one.  For now let’s assume there is a pandemic.  You will need to do a associate of things to prepare.

  1. Review Leave Policy – Make sure you have one and it is clear.  If you are a small business you need a handbook and a leave policy.
  2. Cross aim – Figure out who has job roles that don’t have a backup.  Any person who performs a function that you can not provide to live without needs a backup.  Taking that one step further you need to have a backup plan for every basic function of your organization.
  3. Quarantine – Are there job roles that can function remotely for a short time.  Leverage technology to allow people to work remotely.  In a quarantine situation, the fewer places a person has to visit the lower the likelihood that they will come in contact with someone who is contagious.  Additionally if someone has to be away from work to care for a sick relative, it would be helpful if they could perform some of their job function away from the office.
  4. Backup Plan – What are there outside resources you can use to function your business in case you have an sudden increase in your office.  By that I average can you continue operations with a considerably scaled back operation? Do you have a continuity plan in place that includes a temp staffing service in case of disasters? One that knows your business and can provide you short term help?  What is your plan if your city/area is put under quarantine? Do you have clear lines of authority and  job descriptions in case of disaster?  Make your backup plans during now. 

The point is to prepare now.  Make those contingency agreements now so when the time comes you can be prepared.  It could save your business.  Remember people are your most important asset.  Make sure you have them in place and they know their responsibilities in a crisis and you stand a better chance of your business surviving.

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