Could a cold snap cripple your workforce

With Winter approaching we delve in to a favourite British subject ‘the weather’. Last year the weather took a bitter turn during the winter months with icy temperatures. As an employer, these cold snaps can have a detrimental effect on your company. If staff or supplies are unable to gain access to your premises, not only will productivity be affected, but you also risk not being able to fulfil customer orders, which can impact on your profitability and reputation. Devising an effective contingency plan and making preparations now will ensure that if the weather does turn nasty, you will still be able to operate successfully.

Make Alternative Arrangements

If the weather is very severe, it may not be possible for staff to get into work, especially if they are commuters dependent on public transport. Make sure that you have facilities in place so they can work from home via the internet. You may need to arrange remote-access log-ins in advance, so sort this out before the bad weather comes. Staff working from home should be included in video or conference calls if necessary, not only to keep them up to date with business developments, but also to keep them involved and prevent them from feeling isolated. If you have several company branches to manage, bear in mind that they may each require different contingency arrangements, depending on levels of accessibility. From a legal perspective, check employment laws thoroughly to ensure you a familiar with what constitutes reasonable expectations in terms of staff attendance during severe weather.

Communicate Effectively

Before the bad weather hits, sit down with your staff and hold a consultation or meeting so that everyone is aware of the contingency strategy. Nominate several members of staff to act as liaisons for the wider group, so that if staff are unaware whether they should come in or not, they know who to contact.  Don’t forget to keep your clients or customers in the loop, so if the weather does have an impact on the service you provide, they are kept fully informed.

By making adequate preparations well in advance, you can be prepare for whatever the British weather throws at you this winter. Effective strategies to deal with sudden cold weather, combined with efficient channels of communication, will ensure your productivity remains stable and your business continues to function as normally as possible. In this way staff can be looked after and customers provided with the usual levels of service during the severe weather.