Mitigating Human Error in Your Business Continuity and Emergency Management Plan

In business continuity & emergency management, human error is as problematic as it is avoidable; where seemingly minor slip-ups can quickly snowball into massive setbacks. For instance, it was recently found that around 75 percent of corporate data loss occurs as a result of such preventable errors. 

While many workplaces are becoming increasingly automated and streamlined, human error remains a relevant focal point in your overall continuity planning initiative. To minimize these issues, here are a few quick tips to promote efficiency and shore up weaknesses. 

Prepare your employees

Your workers cannot hope to do their job correctly without proper training, so make sure to nip these broad potential problems in the bud starting with day one. Continuity-wise, a business is only as strong as its weakest link, and underprepared workers can quickly commit key errors leading to losses of data, company breaches, physical injuries and other disruptions stemming from a general lack of understanding. The key, in this sense, is to keep your employees well-versed beyond their initial training; periodically test them on key company processes and tenets, making sure they have committed them to habit. Mistakes are part of the job in any field, but perform your due diligence to mitigate errors wherever possible. 

Cover the obscure and unfathomable

Human error-related disruptions — commonly cybersecurity threats and setbacks — range from benign and widespread to catastrophic and obscure. Unfortunately, many workplaces fall victim to the latter because they put too much planning emphasis on the former. Like any continuity focal point, these types of threats should be treated with a “worst case scenario” mentality where applicable. Plan for a spectrum of potential and train your employees to be multifaceted in their responsiveness. 

Set stricter controls where needed

If the above approaches prove to be ineffective, you might need to impose stricter holds on employee accessibility and general control. Avoid the urge to micromanage — at least at first — but do not be afraid to create such limits if you feel it will benefit the greater good of the company. Luckily, there are methods to achieving this outcome without coming off as overly controlling or toxic — for instance, consider limiting access to certain folders and databases when contents are comparatively sensitive. Making such changes at a widespread level will keep them rooted in company policy rather than a perceived punishment for employee weaknesses. 

Mutually, these methods are rooted in preemptive education and a clear communication of company protocol. You are likely already dedicated to properly training your employees in this manner, so lean into this mindset as you rewire your process to mitigate human error. 

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