Mike Marini – To say this pandemic hasn’t been easy on businesses could be the understatement of the year.
While our software company has been much less impacted than other businesses that need in-person, on-site staff, the show must go on. We must fortify, adapt, and enforce our business continuity plan to fit the new “normal” way of working for our staff and our customers.
Our company response has been guided by a comprehensive business continuity plan which contains a Pandemic Annex that anticipates multiple potentially disruptive scenarios during a pandemic.
In consultation with Massachusetts health providers, local town officials, and the Commonwealth’s mandates, we’ve adapted our business continuity plan for this current health crisis. And while it wasn’t easy, the Advisor360° business continuity plan lets people and our clients know: our #1 priority is to reduce the health and safety risks to everyone, while at the same time continuing the day-to-day operations of our business.
If you have a plan in place that could be improved, or your company’s looking for the essential focus areas to address, here’s how we’ve faced head-on this unprecedented business upheaval:
1) To build a comprehensive business continuity plan, it starts with the right team.
That’s never been more vital. Prior to this pandemic, Advisor360° had already established a Crisis Management team. This team works with a cross-functional task force of senior executives and subject matter experts to lead the official company response to the pandemic every step of the way—and pivot when necessary.
2) While this couldn’t be predicted, your company must always be in forward-thinking, “what if” mode.
We were one of the first companies in our area to transform to a 100% all-remote workforce (not an easy task for a 450+ people organization). Advisor360° has heavily invested in technology that supports an extended work from home scenario.
3) Weathering the storm is easier when you’ve got infrastructure already in place.
While it wasn’t always smooth sailing, going 100% remote at the early days of the pandemic was easier because of the industry we’re in, our technology, and our allocated resources. Thankfully, as a technology company that builds productivity tools within a SaaS platform, going remote wasn’t a giant overhaul for us. But if you’re not a technology company—you can think like a technology company.
4) Health, safety, and updates.
The safety and health of our entire staff is paramount. Abiding by the state’s health and safety requirements, we transitioned from our corporate office to a working from home scenario that seems so far to be working for most staffers. How?
Throughout this pandemic, we have maintained consistent lines of communication through intranet updates and All Hands videoconferencing. We also take the pulse of working from home, with regular employee surveys to hear what’s working, what’s not, and gauge sentiment. These lines of communication are critical to ease employees’ concerns and peace of mind.
We have created official policies and procedures for anyone who wishes to return. For those staffers who do come into our office, the little things are the big things: individual creamers, one-way signs, conference room limits, and healthy protocol posters indispensably enforce our business continuity stance. (We also notify partners and customers, through our traditional means of communication, should any new developments affect them).
5) Implement strategies to set your company up for success.
The strategies Advisor360° has implemented include (but are not limited to):
Thanks to this business continuity plan, Advisor360°’s operations have not been negatively affected by COVID-19.
Mike Marini is Manager of Business Continuity, Enterprise Services and Support at Advisor360°, where he ensures that critical and day-to-day business operations at Advisor360° continue safely and uninterrupted.