Weathering the Storm: Rebuilding Your Business after a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters have been getting more and more frequent. No matter where you operate or what kind of business you run, it’s important to think about what you can do to prepare yourself for a natural disaster. Even if you prepare carefully, however, there is bound to be some rebuilding needed after the storm.

Don’t forget about your most valuable asset during this time. Your employees are likely going through personal stresses and perhaps losses as well. When considering the steps that need to be taken to rebuild, prioritize your employees to ensure the continuity of the business.

Communicate with Employees

You will need to reach out to customers and stakeholders, make sure you also reach out to employees and let them know what is going on with the business and their jobs as the storm clears. In some cases, employees may have trouble getting in touch with you – lines may be down, chargers may be lost, and service may be shaky. Establish multiple channels through social media, websites, and phone numbers that have messages for employees.

If your HR software has a self-service portal, social feed, or messaging option, use this as another avenue for communications. Post information about operations, projected re-open dates, and employee support offerings.

As employees contact you, personalize your communications. Some employees may be eager to get back to work, while others desire time off to clean up and re-establish a home base. Decide how you will move forward based on each employee’s needs.

Figure Out Lost Wages

A disaster is a hard time for everyone. It may be tough to think about paying employees for missed time when the business has been down, but it could help to get your workforce back to normal productivity faster. If you have PTO and paid leave programs in place, encourage employees to use that to avoid missed pay.

Employee Assistance Programs

Some companies offer employee assistance programs that distribute funds as needed to help with rebuilding after disasters both widespread and personal. These programs can assist employees with repairs, hotel fees during evacuations, and replacement of belongings lost during natural disasters. The quicker your employees get their lives back together, the quicker your business will resume and recover.

Ensure Safe Work Conditions before Resuming Operations

Before a building can reopen, it must be structurally sound and free from harmful contaminants. If you operate from a building, contact your insurance company to begin needed repairs or recovery efforts as soon as possible. Make sure that an inspection is done before any employees are allowed back in the building. As these steps are being taken, let employees know so that they can anticipate when they will be able to return to work.

HR software can be used to keep your data organized, back up your records, and even to communicate with employees during and following a natural disaster. If you feel that HR software might be a valuable tool for emergency preparedness, we can help. Call 866-574-4968 to talk with a professional about the right HR software for your company.

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