The sunny days of summer are now a distant memory, and we are entering the dark and cold days of winter. In addition to the shorter days, longer nights, and generally colder weather, winter also brings with it an increased unpredictability. More severe weather events occur in the winter than in any other season, including snow, ice, sleet, and extreme cold. We usually get some advanced warning of these kinds of events, but the predictions of severity often do not match the reality of what actually transpires.
What’s weather got to do with your Small Business?
Severe weather and the unpredictability of the season can affect each of us individually in various ways, but how does it affect your small business? Have you thought about how your business will respond in the event of severe weather? Under what conditions will you close the doors for a day or more in your small business? What are your expectations for your employees during weather emergencies? Do you have a policy in place? If you’ve not really given much thought to this, I would encourage you to think through these questions and put a plan in writing. There are lots of resources to help you get started.
It is important to do this now for a few different reasons.
First of all, do it for your peace of mind. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you have so many decisions to make. And, your decisions affect employees as well as business revenues. When you are under stress or have to make a decision in a hurry, it is more difficult to make the best choices. In general, you will make better decisions when you can calmly and rationally think through the options and the consequences before the situation arises. Then when you are hit with an unexpected weather event, you can simple consult your policy.
Secondly, having a policy also gives peace of mind to your employees about their jobs. While they may not be able to predict the weather, at least they will not have to guess about your response to inclement weather. They will know under what circumstances the business will be closed and how payroll will be affected by business closure or an individual employee’s nonattendance to work.
Last, if inclement weather closes you down over a payroll processing period, what will happen? If pay checks aren’t issued on time, employees might start polishing up their resume and looking for new jobs. That may be a situation you can’t afford. Employers have a lot of consequences when it comes to policy decisions and being inconsistent in handling situations can be worse than sticking with a workplace policy that is not popular. Outsourcing your payroll helps you to have systems and processes in place that help you weather the weather!
Are you convinced that it really would be prudent to write up a detailed policy for how your small business will handle inclement weather? If you are and would like to know more about the ramifications of your choices on your payroll, contact us at The Payroll Department at (317) 852‐2568. We will help you understand any applicable payroll laws which might affect your business. Then you can get started on your own plan to prepare your workplace for the unpredictable.
-Jessica of The Payroll Department Blog Team