Many companies will hav reviewed and amended their business continuity plans at the start of the outbreak.  But weeks on, and with staff becoming unwell is your succession plan still plausible?

The impact of a business leader, or multiple leaders falling ill could be debilitating for your business so now could be the time to review your succession plan.

The government itself has faced its toughest challenge yet as Prime Minister Boris Johnson receives treatment for the COVID-19 virus in intensive care.  Leaving Foreign secretary Dominic Raab to deputise in his absence.

As the infection rate of the virus hits its peak, numerous businesses could be facing similar challenges as leaders are forced to self-isolate or even end up incapacitated in hospital.  Therefore, it’s vital that you have a contingency plan in place in the event that senior managers are unable to fulfil their roles.

In the ideal case, there are already succession plans in place for every senior leader, with clear identification of internal people who can steer the ship — at least for an interim period. But these plans are designed largely on the assumption that the organization is covering for one role only. And that’s where the vulnerability is as we move towards the peak of the infection rate.  

So what should we do now? 

We recommend business owners  talk openly with their leaders now about a more flexible response to contingency planning for leadership.  Discussions may include:

  • A review of the capabilities, skills, and experience that matter most in a phase of crisis leadership, and who in your company has them.
  • An inventory of what roles are critical, and identification of a minimum of one, ideally multiple stand-ins.
  • An inventory of staff who are capable enough to step into a broader role
  • An inventory of functions that can be outsourced in the case of extended illness or multiple illness (in accounting and payroll for example)
  • An examination of what roles or functions might be combined, divided, or even eliminated — at least temporarily, in the event of leadership gaps.

Continuity planning at its essence is about preparing for something in advance that you don’t want to happen, so if you have a plan in place for how to respond in the case of your leaders falling ill you can continue your work with greater confidence.

Even if no one is sick now, it’s time to “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”

If you would like help with reviewing your business continuity plan call HR Caddy today. 

email: or call us on 0121 378 3998

One of our HR specialists will be happy to assist you!