If running a credit union is like playing a very complex game, then business continuity planning is like reading the instructions. It’s not much fun, but it’s absolutely necessary. In order to keep your credit union running in spite of adversity, you need a good plan, and good people to follow the plan.
It’s been a devastating year for Americans. Hurricanes rocked the east coast, fires raged all across the west, and the US Men’s National Team didn’t even qualify for the World Cup. While the last one is just disappointing, the natural disasters facing American businesses seem to get more serious every year. What can be done?
Business Continuity Planning Can Be Done!
A credit union’s first priority is in serving its members. A credit union should be there to financially support and protect its members as they navigate their daily lives. Whether it be a couple having their first child, or a graduate buying their first car, or refinancing a mortgage after a raise, or providing financial counseling to new account holders, credit unions should be there.
None of that is possible if the credit union is closed, though. If a credit union experienced a disaster or major disruption that required them to close, however briefly, they risk being unable to help their members through the same scenario.
If you have a large member base, it’s probable that at least one of your members will experience a personal crisis just as your credit union goes through its own. It’s even more likely that whatever issue your credit union faces, your members are facing the same thing. For example, a hurricane will affect everyone, and there’s no time like disaster time to strain your members’ resources. During an emergency, they need you operational more than ever.
Business continuity plans are designed to keep all aspects of your credit union running through whatever comes up.
Who’s in Charge of Business Continuity Planning for My Credit Union?
There was a time when business continuity planning was relegated to the IT department. In fact, for some credit unions, this is still the case. It shouldn’t be.
There’s more to keeping a credit union running than just making sure that the technological side of things is running smoothly. Not all threats to business continuity can be solved by computer wizardry.
Ultimately, every credit union staff member is responsible for business continuity planning. Each employee plays a critical role, and those roles must be fulfilled, even when things aren’t going well. From C-level and management, operations to IT, and everyone in between, there’s a job to do.
From the Top Down
Business continuity planning should start at the top with C-level employees. They can strategize how to best address various disruptions in their departments.
From there, managers and other departmental experts can help flesh out and test the plan. With more people involved, the burden of knowing what to do in any given disaster or crisis scenario is distributed. Any given employee should always know what to do.
If you’d like to see if your credit union is ready for when disaster strikes, download our disaster recovery e-book. It may help your credit union see where to get started with business continuity planning.
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