How do you handle a snow day?

should-employees-drive-in-snow.jpgSome areas of the country are covered in snow drifts taller than some small cars. If you were hit by Nemo or Storm Q this year, your business probably faced a dilemma – do we give employees the day off?

Depending on the nature of what you do, that question is easier for some than others.

If your employees work at a desk and manage workflow through email, there’s not a problem with working from home.

But, if your employees are behind the wheel or working outside – there’s no way they can get the job done (safely) when show falls heavily.

Leadership in spite of the snow

You are the only one who can make the right call on how to manage employees in the midst of a snowstorm. But, in the interest of providing advice – here are some leadership principles to remember as you make the call:

  1. Communication of Expectations is KEY.If employees need to attempt to drive into work – make sure you communicate why. (Tip – in this case, it is NOT because the customers come first.) Use the opportunity to boost morale. If employees will be working from home, clearly communicate expectations in an email of what they need to get done while away from the office.
  2. Understand Liability Laws.
    Make sure you understand liability laws before you mandate that employees come to work in the snow. Just to cover your bases.
  3. Treat Others How You Want to Be Treated.
    The Golden Rule applies to CEOs and managers, too. Would you get out in the weather? Would you want to risk it? Would you understand your reasoning for staying open or closed? Lead by example and put yourself in the shoes of your team when making decisions.
  4. Put Safety First.
    In all cases – for your clients AND your team – put safety first. Do what is in the best interest of allowing everyone to stay safe.

We know running a company and managing a team is not easy. Our friends at ARCpoint Labs step in and offer help with drug and alcohol testing and establishing drug-free workplaces. If you need this important piece of business taken off your plate, please find the nearest ARCpoint Labs to you.

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22 thoughts

  1. I think that if you have a business in customer service, that you should not take the risk of having employees come to work. Your business will be ‘dead’ anyways. If you and your employees dont want to get out in the weather…neither do consumers.

  2. Handling the snow is never fun. Making sure that employees understand their jobs and getting to work from home, can be an option. Making sure the ones home are working is always tricky but if expectations are set, and everyone agrees, it can be as productive as sitting at the office all day.

  3. Snow days are never enjoyable. They create a lot of work for homeowners and parents alike. When adding a job on top of that, it’s never easier. Having a plan for when these days happen is easier on everyone. Especially at work.

  4. Thank goodness we find ourselves in a category of people who can work from home. Glad there are networks now that will allow us to use the internet to access our most important files. This makes snow days so much easier to plan for.

  5. Weather is never fun to play around, it can either make or break events, and even worse, cause us to cancel work. Having plans in place and every employee aware of those plans is a great way to stay ahead of this unforeseen situation.

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