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Q&A: 12 Tips for Workplace Closure Notifications

By Jeanette Coleman, SPHR & SHRM-SCP on Feb 01, 2018
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Q&A: Tips for Workplace Closure Notifications

Question: What are some ways we can notify our employees of closure in case of emergencies?

Answer: Many companies ask this question. We recently held a webinar and asked our participants to share how they notify their employees. Here are some of the answers we received:

  • “We notify employees of business closings by email, department phone trees, website posting, social media, a dedicated phone line, and a service that sends texts, emails, and recorded messages to a subscribed list.”
  • “Our organization has an inclement weather phone line. We also supply all staff phone numbers so staffers can reach out to someone else. We send a reminder of the process for a delayed opening or early closing due to inclement weather when we hear the weather is going to be a consideration.”
  • “We have a phone-in hotline that has an answering machine, which is updated by 4 a.m. each day. Employees can call the hotline if they have concerns about getting to the office or if there is work for that day.”
  • “We have emergency phone trees that managers use in each department to reach staff.”
  • “We use social media and word-of-mouth through employees.”New call-to-action
“We are working with our IT vendor to set up a landline to share a recorded message for emergencies. Our supervisors have text trees and we send a bulk email to company email addresses since most employees have email set up on their phones.”
  • “Our phone alert system texts employees’ cell phones.”
  • “We have a small office of about 30 employees and I notify staff via group texts when we need to close due to an emergency.”
  • “We use a group channel on Slack and we require all employees to have the Slack app on their smartphones. The channel is only for weather closure information.”

Related Reading:  Inclement Weather Policy: Can Employers Require Attendance During Severe Storms? >>

  • “We announce emergency closures by email. Managers are typically asked to call employees in their group who don’t normally use or read email. We all share cell phone numbers.”
  • “We use an employee hotline that is communicated to all employees. Employees know to call the number in an emergency. We also update the message to let callers know when the next decision announcement will be made.
  • “We used a technology during Hurricane Harvey called “Alert Media.” Updated contact info for all employees was critical and we harped on that during safety meetings and through email. It was a lifesaver to reach all of our employees. The system has automatic tracking, so we knew who replied and who did not and we could call the employees that didn’t respond. Knowing employees were safe was the driving reason for using it.”

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