HR policies - bad weather

Weathering the winter storms

At this time of the year, the weather is the topic of conversation in workplaces all over the country.
When will the cold snap end?
Are we wrapping up warm enough for the journey into work?

As a business owner though, your concerns may be a little more pressing. You might already know from experience that a change in conditions can lead to huge problems, and these could have a direct impact on your productivity and profits.

From coughs and colds through to gridlocked roads, you need to be able to anticipate the issues that could arise, and put mechanisms in place to ensure that you’re as prepared as possible.

Consider whether you’ll pay your staff if they can’t get into the office

Sometimes, weather conditions can make it difficult to get into work. In many cases, just a sprinkling of snow can cause absolute havoc. Public transport could be cancelled or heavily delayed, and the road system could come to a grinding halt

Consider business needs, but make sure that you’re also being fair. If it would usually take your staff half an hour to get to work, and the weather conditions mean that it will take over four hours, you need to use your common sense. Bear in mind that after traveling for so long in the low temperatures, your staff are very unlikely to be motivated and productive.

Create a policy and communicate it clearly

Do you have a bad weather policy? If not, it could be worthwhile thinking about creating one. Many problems can be avoided by making sure that your staff know what’s to be expected, and what they need to do if the weather does prove to be an issue.

Review your working from home arrangements

In a worst-case scenario, you might decide that working from home provides a viable solution that will help you to avoid any interruptions that could be detrimental to your business. Of course though, you need to make sure that you have processes in place that will make this course of action as effective as possible.

Consider staff with children

If the weather takes a turn for the worse, local schools may be closed. This could obviously lead to problems for parents in your workforce, so it’s worth thinking about how you’ll deal with this.

Be mindful of the impact of colds and flu

There’s a higher risk of employees contracting illnesses such as coughs and colds during the winter. This could lead to an increase in workers calling in sick. Your staff should be aware of the systems you have in place to manage absence. Think about who they should contact if they can’t make it into the workplace, how they should stay in touch, and so on. Problems often occur due to simple misunderstandings, so make sure that you’re clear and concise with your communications.

There are many potential issues that can arise over the winter season, and it’s important that you take the time to anticipate what you might be dealing with.

If you haven’t already taken the time to devise your approach, it’s important that you don’t panic. You must recognise though that time isn’t on your side. You need to take action, fast!

Do you have any further questions about dealing with the winter weather this year? Give us a call for a no-obligation chat.

Look out for our next blog on how to improve health and well being amongst your staff.