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Develop Business Continuity Management Response Plans

Boost HR’s role in both preparing for and responding to crises.

  • The more effective HR is at enabling the development and maintenance of business continuity plans, the greater organizational performance is (McLean & Company’s 2021 HR Trends Report; n=732).
  • However, only 42% of HR departments are effective at enabling the development and maintenance of a business continuity plan (McLean & Company’s 2021 HR Trends Report; n=759).
  • HR needs to improve crisis response plan capabilities in order to better contribute to the organization’s navigation of crises.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

The question is not if but when a crisis will hit. Prepare business continuity management response plans that address the talent implications of crises, to keep the employee experience top of mind.

Impact and Result

Implement business continuity management best practices by creating business continuity plans for the HR department, providing input regarding the people impacts of non-HR business continuity plans, and playing an active role in organization-wide crisis management teams.

Develop Business Continuity Management Response Plans Research & Tools

1. Identify potential crises

Conduct analysis to identify, assess, and prioritize potential crises and create scenarios for shortlisted crises.

2. Develop business continuity plans

Capture HR process workflows, dependencies, and workarounds, conduct a business impact analysis, and document the recovery workflow and a plan for return-to-normal for HR to present to key stakeholders.

3. Create crisis management plans

Craft high-level operational response workflows and an emergency response plan, define criteria for BCP activation, and determine the crisis communication plan.

4. Prepare the organization

Incorporate learning into response plans, finish the BCP and crisis management plans, educate employees on their role in response plans, and test the plans.

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 12 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Identify potential crises
  • Call #1 - Review Crisis Workbook and prioritize 3-5 crises.
  • Call #2 - Create scenarios for prioritized crises.

Guided Implementation #2 - Develop business continuity plans
  • Call #1 - Discuss how to capture HR process workflows, dependencies, and workarounds.
  • Call #2 - Customize impact scoring scales.
  • Call #3 - Review results of the business impact analysis and confirm criticality tiers.
  • Call #4 - Review recovery workflows and the plan for return-to-normal.
  • Call #5 - Examine BCP projects and how to present to key stakeholders.

Guided Implementation #3 - Create crisis management plans
  • Call #1 - Develop a crisis notification, escalation, and assessment workflow.
  • Call #2 - Review emergency response plans and discuss criteria for BCP activation.
  • Call #3 - Determine the crisis communication plan.

Guided Implementation #4 - Prepare the organization
  • Call #1 - Discuss how to address shadow HR and how to educate employees on their role in the response plans.
  • Call #2 - Determine a testing and maintenance schedule.


  • Melissa Agnes, Crisis Management Speaker and Consultant, President and Co-Founder of Agnes + Day Inc.
  • Trevor Butler, General Manager of Information Technology, City of Lethbridge
  • Timothy Coombs, Professor and author in the field communications and crisis management, University of Central Florida
  • Tim Hickernell, Independent Consultant
  • Deb Hileman, CEO, Institute for Crisis Management
  • Ann Hutchison, Senior HR Advisor and Crisis Communication Instructor, Western University
  • Dr. Bernard Jones, Owner/Principal, B Jones BCP Consulting, LLC Professor and Continuity Consultant, Berkeley College
  • Larry Liss, Chief Technology Officer, Blank Rome LLP
  • Robert Miller, Information Services Director, Witt/Kieffer
  • Tony Ridley, CEO, Intelligent Travel
  • Kris L. Roberson, Disaster Recovery Analyst, Veterans United Home Loans
  • John A. Parnell, Belk Chair of Management and author in the field strategic and crisis management, University of North Carolina-Pembroke
  • Andrew Sharp, Senior Research Analyst, Infrastructure & Operations, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Frank Trovato, Research Director, Infrastructure & Operations, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Kevin Warner, Security and Compliance Officer, BRIDGE Healthcare Partners