Last month (9/2009), I went through the somewhat unsettling process of upgrading my PC from Windows Vista to Windows 7. I spent a great deal of time backing up the machine first and then looking through all the software to be sure I had original DVDs or downloads.
It took a lot of time and I admit to being a little more nervous about this upgrade than I might normally be. I have only one PC now since I moved the “big PC” over to my CFO. So I don’t have a reasonable back-up machine to continue working if this one crashes.
So if the upgrade went badly, I would have to either re-image my hard drive or load everything from scratch. No fun. Luckily, the upgrade went very well and I’m now up and running on Windows 7 with no major challenges during the upgrade. This whole thing reminds me of the position in which many small businesses find themselves. They have cut their workforce deeply. Many positions may no longer have cross-trained backups to pick up the slack.
So what happens if several of our employees come down with the flu (H1N1 or otherwise) and are out of work for a week or more? Will you be able to keep up with the workload? Are your employees taking the time off that they need to be fresh and alert? Are you working to mitigate the lack of depth in the employee base?
One company I know is making sure all their employees have access to the seasonal flu vaccine and will pay for their immunization shots. They are working hard to set up temporary workers for emergency duty if needed and are cross-training where possible. I was lucky with my software upgrade even though I had planned for the worst case scenario. Will you depend on luck in backing-up your workforce and customer backlog?