4 Ways to Successfully Weather the Storm
When the weather outside is frightful – it is extremely important for the safety of employees and the continuation of business to have a plan in place to address how operations will (or will not) continue. Here are four key tips to successfully weathering the storm.
1. Form a Plan
Where IS that employee handbook? It's time to update (or create) an inclement weather policy. It's important to think through the different scenarios and address them as they arise. This way, you and your employees have an understanding of what is expected during bad weather.
Questions to think about:
- Who is responsible for announcing closures?
- Where will that information be located?
- How will that information be communicated – phone tree, website, email, social media, etc?
2. Employee Payment of Days Off
If your office is closed due to inclement weather, do you need to pay your employees?
To be safe, we suggest visiting the Department of Labor's website and familiarizing yourself with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Still have questions? Feel free to contact us at 410-451-4202 firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Out of the Office Communication
Closing the office does not necessarily mean you have shut down your business. Working remotely is increasingly feasible and takes into consideration those employees who do not feel safe traveling to the office.
Working remotely also provides the option to stay in touch with customers – not only to continue business as usual but also to notify them that the office is closed due to inclement weather. You can update your customers through email, your website and social media as well as record a voicemail greeting on the main line that explains the situation and to not expect a speedy response.
4. Assess your Business's Liability
If you do decide to stay open and some of your employees do not have the ability to work remotely, it is important to understand the risks this may incur. Check with your business's insurance policy to make sure it covers any accidents on company property caused by inclement weather conditions.
And again, make sure your company's inclement weather policy is clearly stated in the employee handbook and has been communicated and understood by all!