Derek Bishop


Engaging with the weather

Date added: 08th Feb 2016
Category: Employee Engagement

Caring for employee well-being underpins the relationship between good employers and their people

It probably isn’t true; but it does seem that since the Met Office has decided to give names to storms hitting the UK we have had more of them this winter than ever before. And we also have to wonder whether the sheer volume of bad weather which we have experienced over the winter has led us to be a little careless of the danger.

Certainly, as Storm Imogen roars across the country raising floods and bringing down trees there have been a number of incidents which would indicate that some people just don’t learn from prior example. For example, whilst officials are urging motorists who come across flooded stretches of road to ‘Turn around, don’t drown,’ the warnings are generally accompanied by yet more photos of partially submerged cars. We were also struck by a tweet from Cornish firefighters which read “Motorists!! If you come Across A Road Closed Sign & Traffic Cones Blocking the Road! It’s there for a Reason!”

Whilst some of these incidents will have been caused either by carelessness or by people believing they knew the road better than they thought they did, we also have to wonder how many incidents could be avoided if people were not under pressure to be at a certain place at a certain time for work. When people are under pressure, particularly under time pressure, then their judgement can be impaired and that can lead them to drive too fast for the conditions or to take a chance on a flooded road.

This is one of those times when employers who really care about their people should be making it absolutely clear that safety comes first and that if people need to work from home, to work from an alternative site or to take longer on their daily commute then that is perfectly acceptable. Employee engagement takes all sorts of pathways but caring for employee well-being underpins the relationship between good employers and their people.


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