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St Jude has wreaked its worst and passed on, leaving sadness and destruction in its wake. Thankfully the storm was nowhere near as bad as the one in 1987 but it has still cost lives and caused havoc for many.
It is perhaps easy to see why this storm was named after St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations, but at least it can be said that the planning in the run up to the storm’s passing was light years ahead of that experienced some 30 years ago. With the weather experts getting their predictions right, the transport authorities took positive action to give notice of cancellations well in advance and workers were on hand to speedily clear up the fallen trees and other damage across the land.
With disruption expected and pre-announced there was ample time for businesses to make arrangements for their employees either to work from home or from alternate locations. Some did and in the process will have strengthened a sense of caring and employee engagement which will stand them in good stead for the future. Others made no such arrangements, leaving employees to stand forlornly on rail platforms and tell the media that they “don’t have any option but have to go in to work.”
Desperate situations such as the St Jude storm don’t come along that often but when they do organisations have a choice, to add to their ‘lost cause’ of disengaging with employees or to take action to bring employees one step closer towards creating a positive and engaged workforce.