The First Winter

Series: growth March 14, 2016

This email was sent ahead of the first forecasted “winter weather” event of the year:

To: All Employees
From: President

This is your annual reminder to be safe and smart traveling in inclement weather. If the roads get bad tonight/tomorrow, work remotely or adjust your schedule as necessary. The work will still be there – just make sure you stay in touch with your team about your plans.

By being explicit, the norms of the company are surfaced. Sharing the expectations and standards of a group reveals the boundaries and makes people feel safe.

If you’ve been at the company for a couple of years, you understand how things work. You know what is normal and you know what might raise eyebrows.

But every winter is the first winter for someone at the company.

If you’ve never worked at the company during bad weather, you are left to your own assumptions about “the policy”. These assumptions are built on past experiences and could vary wildly between employees.

We don’t need a strict, capital-P Policy (“Remote Work is only allowed if there was more than 4 inches of snow!”). We simply want everyone to understand the norms of the company so that they can act within those boundaries. Explicit communication helps everyone become aware of these norms.

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