Friday, 19 July 2013

In This Severe Weather...

We are, apparently, experiencing extreme weather. Anyone from outside the UK may find that rather difficult to understand. My brother, for example, lives in Sydney in Australia and so thinks of thirty celcius as Spring-like.

Whatever your own thoughts about the temperature, the chances are that your staff (and colleagues) think that the weather is extreme and so it is. The fact is that you, as a manager, will have to deal with it. Happily, it is possible to deal with staff concerns and do some good for the organisation at the same time.
  • Be a little more relaxed about the hours that people work. Is it really necessary that everyone works between the hours of 8:30 and 18:00? Why not let some people come in at 7:30 and so avoid a hot and sticky commute (in both directions probably?). Why not let some come in at 10:00 and leave at 20:00?
  • Be a little more relaxed about what people wear. If they are not customer facing, do they really need to be in a suit and tie? If there is no air conditioning in the office, why not chill a bit about the dress code (see what I did there?).
  • Buy some ice cream for your team. It's a simple thing - and don't be fooled into thinking that they will love you forever - but staff will notice and acknowledge your gesture. The British, too, find ice cream almost sinful, so you can all share that 'naughty' moment together.
Goodness knows - if you manage to get through the next few weeks being flexible and buying ice cream, you might be able to continue this for the rest of the year too. All the positive benefits that come from these simple actions might surprise you - or you may, of course think that it's all madness!

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