President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus. Ken Wilson, a pandemic planning expert, outlined today the business, operational and workforce issues that need to be addressed in pandemic plans.
Online PR News – 27-October-2009 – – Minneapolis, MN – President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus. Ken Wilson, a pandemic planning expert, outlined today the business, operational and workforce issues that need to be addressed in pandemic plans to prepare companies for potential employee absenteeism and potential lower sales as customers changing their purchasing plans. Ken Wilson consults with small and medium sized organization in developing their Business Pandemic Plan and in providing a review (audit) of existing plans. Plan reviews start at $950
The Harvard School of Public Health recently released a study that found only one-third of companies believe they could sustain their businesses without severe problems if half their workforce were absent for two weeks due to H1N1 (Swine Flu ). Just one-fifth of respondents believe they could avoid such problems for one month with half their employees out.
A pandemic plan is different than a traditional disaster plan. The traditional disaster plan focuses on the loss of assets while a pandemic business plan focuses on the loss of employees. People are the most vulnerable resources in any pandemic -- and this extends beyond your employees to cover their families, to suppliers or vendors who may not be able to deliver products or service to customers whose purchasing patterns may be impacted by the pandemic.
Pandemic Influenza will remain for a long period of time and come in waves over several years. Between each wave, the virus can change (mutate). The first wave arrived in the spring (May – June) and the second wave has started. This means that organizations need to have trigger points established to insure a timely activation of the preplanned activities.
Key considerations in a success business pandemic plan include:
Company policies – Policies such as human resources, finance and legal need to be addressed to ensure consistence corporate philosophy, policy and regulatory requirements. Issues such as work-at-home, validating sick leave, travel, facility security, etc. need to be addressed.
Communications Section - Organizations need a communications strategy that addresses both global and local communications issues since pandemic waves will impact different regions at different times. The communication section is critical to keeping rumors from spreading and informing employees, customers and vendors of what the company is doing to keep employees working, supplying customers and purchasing from vendors.
Employee Health and Safety Education Section – Organizations need to educate their employees on preventive measure the company is taking, how employees can protect themselves and their families –minimizing the impact on the organizations ability to operate.
Essential Services/Functions Plan Section – This section of the plan identifies those areas of the business that generate revenue (cash flow) and need to be operational (for example. customer service for the company to remain open. Steps need to determined, in advance, on how to insure this happens. These steps could include flexible hours, trained backup staff, etc. These steps, as with the whole plan, need to be determined in advance, have instruction on seamlessly implementing them.
The Recovery Plan Section – This sections detail the return to normal operations when the pandemic has receded. It will include the availability of employees, vendors and supplier’s capabilities and your customers demand for your product or service. This is a step-by-step guide to returning to full capabilities.
Ken Wilson is a CMC® (Certified Management Consultant), trainer, writer, educator, and speaker with more than 24 years of experience in helping companies grow and prosper. A specialist in the area of business pandemic preparedness, he has helped over 400 companies plan against the impact of pandemics on their businesses.
About the Wilson Marketing Group, Inc.
The Wilson Marketing Group, Inc. (wmg-mn.com) is a management consulting firm specializing in formulating and implementing strategies that yield sustainable results. Founded in Minneapolis, MN in 1986, the Wilson Marketing Group has been helping clients across the United States and Canada achieve profitable growth in good times and bad. The Wilson Marketing Group has trained more than 1000 individuals and over 400 firms in preparing for the Pandemic Influenza. To learn more, please visit http://wmg-mn.com, or call 763.476.2216.