Sounds obvious? When you’re knee deep in metrics, reports, and audits, it’s not always easy to remember that without people doing their jobs, nearly every organisation will rapidly cease to function.
Does that mean you need to be socially extroverted, a psychologist, and an HR expert all wrapped into one?
No, of course not. On the other hand, a passing knowledge of some key concepts about working with people may come in handy, if you want to encourage them to build business continuity into their professional activities.
- The “human relations vs human resources” concept. Ever wonder why HR stands for human resources, not human relations? This concept suggests that by thinking in terms of human resources, we can create an environment where employees can be creative and maximise outcomes (like recovery from business interruption), instead of just being polite and following instructions.
- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The most basic human need (says Maslow) is food and water, the next one up is safety, and then belongingness, esteem, and self-actualisation, in that order. Make sure basic needs are covered before trying to progress with the need for business continuity. For example, if employees don’t feel good about their job security, fix it or face the fact that they will be less enthusiastic about discussing BC. There is a similar concept called Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Herzberg) that brings in the important notion that things that motivate people are not simply the opposites of things that demotivate them.
- McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. The Theory X manager thinks people try to avoid work, whereas the Theory Y manager thinks people naturally want to do the best for the organisation. Guess which kind of manager (and his or her team) will provide the most help in getting business continuity embedded in the organisation.
And there’s more, of course, much more. But these three or four concepts can already help you better understand how to make people + business continuity equal a business that keeps on going, even when the going gets tough.