Snow Days: It’s a Problem of Motivation, Bob…

Capitalist Note - We actually have named a snow front in the south "Leon".  So I'm pulling this inclement weather policy out of the archives for all my people in the Southeastern United States.

Snow and your employees.  You either have the answer, or you don't.  If you don't have the answer, I'm here to give it to you.  Quick, fast and in a hurry...

You know the issue I'm talking about.  When there's a little snow (or if you live in the South, a hint of snow), employees start freaking out by asking the following questions:Snow_day

-are the offices going to be open tomorrow?
-are the offices going to be open tomorrow?
-are the offices going to be open tomorrow?
-are the offices going to be open tomorrow?

Damn, that's one question, isn't it?  It's just asked a thousand times during the same day.  If you didn't know better, you might think employees were looking for a freebie.  With that in mind, watch the following video (email subscribers click through for the video), then I'll be back to give you the inclement weather policy you need to box the equation in:

So here's the deal skippy.  Employees want you to make the call to close the office.  "I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob"...

If you're out there and you feel hostage to the whole "what are we going to tell employees about the snow" thing, try this policy on for size:

"<Insert your company name> has offices that are located in various geographic regions across the United States.  As a result, inclement weather may, on rare occasion, cause an office to be closed for a period of time to ensure the safety of our employees while traveling to and from work.

When inclement weather is such that the management staff, with the approval of the Executive Management Team, decides to close the office, the following compensation will be provided to you:

• If the office is closed for the entire day, hourly employees will receive their regular hourly wage for the hours the employee was scheduled to work that day.  Salaried employees receive their regular compensation.

• If the office is closed early or operates on a reduced schedule, hourly employees will receive their regular hourly wage for the hours the employee was scheduled to work on that day.  Thus, if an hourly employee is scheduled to work eight hours that day but is only able to work four hours due to the office closing early or opening late, the employee would still receive eight hours of regular pay for that day.  Salaried employees receive their regular compensation.

• Even if the office is closed to the general public for the entire day or operates on a reduced schedule, there may still be an operational need for some employees to report to work.  Hourly employees who are requested to work will be paid time and a half for the hours worked when the office was closed due to inclement weather, in addition to their hourly wage.  Any hours worked while the office was open will be paid at the regular hourly wage.  This only applies when the management staff, with the approval of the Executive Management Team, makes a decision to close the office to the general public or operate on a reduced schedule due to inclement weather. This is a rare occasion.

If the office is NOT closed but some employees are unable to report to work due to inclement weather, those employees may have the option of taking any accrued paid time available to them.  If no accrued time is available, the employee may take the day (or hours) as unpaid.

I took the liberty of highlighting the golden statement that takes the burden off of you.  It's not that you're mean, it's that the office is open.  If you don't feel safe traveling to the office, you don't have to - you can just burn some accrued time to cover the day off.

If you've struggled with how to address the whole bad weather thing, try this policy on for size.  Just use road closings as your guide for when to close the office, and it's done. No more hand-wringing...

It'll clear up a lot of things for you...and them. 

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