November is already here, and soon, it’ll officially be winter. While it’s still warm and sunny right now in some parts of the U.S., the snow shall quickly replace these conditions. Winter can be a challenging time for everyone. The weather is unpredictable, and snowstorms can strike quickly in areas not used to these occurrences.
The conditions can become especially tricky for businesses. It can be difficult to get long-term weather forecasts, and as a result, your plans can go haywire. Snowstorms can also pose a risk to your employees. Keeping all these factors in mind, you still need to start working on designing a plan for winter months.
1. Inclement Weather Policy
When winter arrives, it brings in a lot of uncertainty. Flash snowstorms can hit your location at any moment. In such a situation, your employees will be in immediate danger. This is why it’s crucial for your organization to have an inclement weather policy.
This policy must include everything that you need to do to protect your employees from harm. For this, you should define the period during which this policy will be active. Additionally, you need to lay down the ground rules that must be followed by all your employees.
This policy must also include all the safety protocols that the organization will follow during adverse weather conditions. You should also make sure that you specify when the employees would be permitted to leave the office during such weather.
2. Emergency Notifications
As the weather can become adverse at any given point in the day, you should consider having a system of sending out emergency alerts to your employees. Whether your employees are at home, on their way to or from work, or even on your campus, you should be able to inform them about the weather with ease.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by the use of an emergency notification system. By incorporating the use of such a system, you’ll be able to send out emergency alerts within seconds.
Additionally, you should look for features such as multi-channel flexibility and multi-language support. This way, there’ll be greater chances of your message reaching across to your employees. You can also routinely send out local weather alerts to notify them of possible adverse weather conditions. This can go a long way in keeping them away from harm’s way.
3. Remote Working
Your operations can’t come to a complete halt due to the adverse weather conditions. That’s why you need to have a plan in place to allow employees to work remotely from their homes. Whenever they’re unable to make it to work, they should have the option of working from home so that your operations don’t stop.
However, you must set up certain systems to allow employees to work seamlessly from home and coordinate with others as well. You should consider using software solutions and tools like Trello and Asana to coordinate with your staff remotely. Doing so will help you manage operations smoothly, and you won’t lose out on productivity due to the severe weather conditions as well.
4. Winter-Proof the Workplace
In addition to being prepared for adverse weather conditions, you must winter-proof your workplace too. The mercury dips below the dew point regularly during this season, and as a result, you must have heating systems installed in your workplace.
If the system doesn’t function well, it can reduce your employee productivity, increase the number of sick leaves, and also reduce their morale. Make sure you do everything in your power to give your employees a comfortable working environment.
In addition to heating up the office, you should also clear the snow and ice from the entrances and exits. This can help in reducing the chances of your employees slipping and injuring themselves.
5. Purchase Quality Equipment and Supplies
You must purchase quality equipment for your company assets, such as cars. For instance, you should buy high-quality snow tires to prevent your cars from slipping and sliding when driving on roads with ice and snow.
Additionally, you should purchase rock salt before it gets sold out and use it to prevent a layer of ice from forming on the roads in your car park. You should also encourage your staff to purchase materials like shovels, in-car phone chargers, blankets, and even soup flasks in case they get stuck on the road due to icy conditions.
6. Train Your Employees
It’s essential for organizations to invest time in training their employees to equip them with the skills required to survive in such conditions. Additionally, you should make them aware of the steps that your company is taking to ensure their safety, and make them aware of their roles and responsibilities too.
You may also need some backup personnel for each critical business area, and you’ll need to train your employees for that, as well. This will help you in the long-term in ensuring a smooth flow of operations.
It’s also a good practice to recognize your employees who perform exceptionally well in such difficult situations. You should be aware of those employees who help out when your office is understaffed due to inclement weather conditions.
Those who’ve gone the extra mile to ensure the safety of others must be rewarded too. This recognition doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary. You could even give them a friendly shoutout in your meetings or on the company intranet. A simple “thanks” can go a long way in motivating them to do even better.
With the arrival of winter, adverse weather conditions become more common than ever. You must be prepared to fight them off to safeguard your employees. Have an emergency action plan and a notification system in place.
Make provisions for remote operations to ensure that your work doesn’t come to a halt. Winter-proof your workspace and ensure that you take every step needed to provide a comfortable working space to your employees. Lastly, train your employees and recognize those who perform exceedingly well.
What are the other steps that you’re taking to prepare your business for the winter? Let me know in the comments