Roberta Chinsky Matuson
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Guest Post: Ten Ways to Inform Employees About Weather Closure

It’s been a quiet winter here in New England, but it looks like that’s about to change today. Today’s guest blog posting is courtesy of PhoneService.

Most companies want their employees to show up for work come hell or high water, but sometimes weather conditions make it impossible. Hurricanes, blizzards, floods, tornadoes and other severe weather conditions can make businesses shut down until it’s safe to reopen their doors. With all the different communication options available these days, companies have a variety of ways of letting their workers know when the business is shut down. Here are 10 ways to inform employees about weather closures.

  1. Telephone – For companies with only a few employees, the traditional way to inform them of weather closures would be to call them on the telephone. However, this isn’t practical for businesses with hundreds of workers or if the phone lines are down.
  2. Cell phone – Since most people have mobile phones now and many don’t even have landline phones, the next best option for small businesses is to call their cell phones. These phones run on battery power and hopefully the employees have them fully charged.
  3. Text message – Calling every employee would be difficult for large companies, so sending a text message would be much more practical and efficient. A single text can be sent out to everyone at the same time and is more likely to be received even if the phone battery is low.
  4. Facebook – If the company has a Facebook page, the weather closure can be posted there. Employees would need to be instructed ahead of time that this would be the place to check for business closures and have access to the internet.
  5. Twitter – This popular social media can also be very useful in an emergency situation. Just about everyone is on Twitter these days, so a quick tweet would be all you need to inform employees about a weather closure.
  6. Email – A more universal form of communication, email may be the best choice for most companies for weather related notices. People can get emails on their cell phones even if the electricity is off, and a single email can be sent to everyone at once.
  7. Website – Just about every company has a website, so posting weather closures there will inform not only employees, but customers as well. People from other areas may not be aware of local weather conditions and get frustrated if nobody answers the phone.
  8. LinkedIn – Many business professionals use the social networking of LinkedIn, so this media may work best for certain companies. Attorneys, real estate businesses and others who use this system regularly can post notifications to their colleagues there.
  9. Radio – The first instinct of many people during severe weather is to turn on the radio. Most stations will give public service announcements, so business closures can be broadcast over the radio as well. If the electricity is out, radios can still be run on battery power.
  10. Television – Some people are more likely to turn on the television to get updates about the weather, so companies could post notifications there. Local cable networks and public broadcasting are great ways to get the word out about company closures.

Companies must keep in mind that they need to be pro-active about weather closures in order for any of these to work. Employees need to know what media will be used so they know what to expect and where to look. Also, all of these networks have to be set up ahead of time. Whichever way they decide to inform employees has to be implemented early so that everyone is included. If cell phones are to be used, the company has to have the cell phone number of each employee and have access to it. The same goes for email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. None of these systems will work unless everyone is on the same network and different methods will work better for different companies. Be sure to find out what method your company uses before severe weather hits. You don’t want to be the last person to know when you get a day off.

Courtesy of  Phone Service

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