FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — It’s the worst-case scenario: a dangerous outbreak, a devastating man- or nature-driven disaster. KGA Inc. (www.kgreer.com), a Greater Boston human resources consulting firm, appreciates the potential for a crisis to affect not only its clients, but also its own internal operations. On January 14, 2008, KGA Inc. tested a plan to ensure the company remains operational in the event a pandemic or catastrophe prevents employees from accessing its Framingham, Mass., headquarters.
“We learned from September 11 that managers and employees rely on human resources professionals during times of national crisis. Since we support the HR function, it is vital that there is no interruption in our service,” explains President Kathleen Greer. KGA Inc.-which provides clients with a 24/7 Employee Assistance Program, as well as a variety of training, coaching, and wellness services-operated during the test day through counselors answering routed phone calls and employees accessing databases from home.
Developed in 2007, the plan required that KGA Inc. evaluate all vendors and review their business continuation plans, assess each employee’s technological situation, review relevant employment policies, and draft protocols for implementation, all the while remaining HIPAA-compliant.
“Many companies wait until something catastrophic happens before they change how they do business. Pandemic planning helped us change sooner rather than later,” says Chief Operating Officer Liz Hahn, who adds that crisis preparedness is multifold. A well-conceived strategy can protect the health and safety of employees, safeguard technological assets and data, and allow a business to continue vital functions during a crisis.
The pandemic plan was to be implemented on a “regular” workday; however, the timeliness of a major snowstorm, which blanketed the Greater Boston area on Monday, January 14, 2008, provided a more realistic situation.
While the company discovered a few staff members’ home situations required additional technological upgrades, KGA Inc. was able to service its clients within the same time frame achieved during normal operations. An added advantage: workers stayed safe and off the roads in treacherous driving conditions.
“Working on the pandemic plan helped to open our minds about employees working from home. When you start planning for disaster, you immediately start thinking outside the box,” states Greer, who feels strongly that her HR consulting firm should practice what it preaches: corporate, managerial, and employee wellness.
About KGA Inc.: Founded in 1982, KGA Inc. is a comprehensive human resources consulting firm that assists organizations with employee retention, manager performance, change management, diversity management, and wellness management. These areas are supported via a family of five high-touch services, including a personalized, highly effective EAP (Employee Assistance Program); training; coaching; consulting; and wellness. President and founder Kathleen Greer has a background in traditional management training and counseling. She earned a B.S. in Management from Babson College and an M.Ed. in Counseling from Northeastern University. She is also a certified Employee Assistance Professional and a LMHC.
To learn about the company or download a copy of KGA Inc.’s Crisis Management Checklist, visit the Featured Articles section at http://www.kgreer.com.