Cross-training employees can help achieve this goal. The key is to make sure people are truly interested in learning the other set of responsibilities. A systems administrator whose career goal is to move into network security may be inspired to shadow your firms network security administrator and master the basics of the other job. But if the person lacks the necessary motivation to pick up the new skills, he or she isnt likely to be an effective backup.
Succession planning also is beneficial. If you or other leaders in the firm decide to retire, leave for another job, face a health problem or simply cant be on-site during a major crisis, you want to make sure theres talent in the wings who can pick up the pieces and fill the role. In a survey of CIOs by Robert Half Technology, 50% said theyre taking steps to identify and prepare individuals on their IT staffs to move into management positions.
4. What if the unexpected happens?
Despite your best efforts, you cant prepare for every possible disaster. Sometimes things will happen that no one could anticipate. These situations can provide a tremendous learning opportunity for those on your staff, and you may be surprised by which team members are able to step up to the plate and make a positive impact. You may also want to bring in consultants with the expertise to help your firm manage the disaster and get back on the road to recovery.
Make sure youre reviewing your staffing levels on a regular basis to ensure theyre in line with not only your business needs but also your current disaster recovery plans. By considering the human element to disaster preparedness, not just the technological, you can be confident youre in the strongest position possible should any crisis arise.
Katherine Spencer Lee is executive director of Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals for initiatives ranging from e-business development and multi-platform systems integration to network engineering and technical support. Robert Half Technology has more than 100 locations in the North America and Europe, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalftechnology.com.