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As winter swoops in, painting visions of a snowy Christmas, business owners find themselves wrestling with a set of unique challenges. From the wild unpredictability of winter storms throwing curveballs into our plans to the inevitable flu season doing its thing on your team attendance, here are a few tips Ive gained over the years that will help you out: 

Tackling Wild Weather: Winter Storms, Prepare to Be Handled! 

Sure, the idea of a snow-covered Christmas scene is like something out of a storybook, but the reality of crazy weather can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans. It’s often a simple thing to help your team understand that safety is first and foremost, though if they don’t come in then it would be authorised unpaid leave that you would be issuing (check policies and contracts align mind!). This often helps colleagues make much more informed decisions, and typically they will then venture out if it is safe to do so (but comfier to have stayed at home). 

Navigating Winter Woes and Work Absences. 

Winter not only turns everything into a snow globe but also brings along the icy chill and the flu season. This tag team can result in inevitable sick days. To keep the vibe smooth for everyone involved, here's the lowdown (I am always surprised people don’t know this bit, so if you do… skip!): 

1. DIY Sick Note for Quick Breaks: 

For those short-term bug battles lasting up to seven days, you just need your team member to fill out a DIY sick note (formally known as a self cert). This nifty form spills the beans on their ailment and how long they were in hibernation. As a manager it helps you have questions ensure they’re OK, what you can help with and how they can avoid being sick again. 

2. Doc's Note for Extended Adventures in Sick Land: 

If the illness decides to overstay its welcome beyond seven days, they will need a formal “fit note” note from their healthcare professional. This enables you to pay sick pay (so super important!) and your illness impact on how and when you can return to work. 

3. Talk the Talk – Open and Honest Style: 

Communication is the unsung hero during any sick leave saga. Helping your team know that they need to keep you as their boss in the loop about their healing journey, especially if it takes longer than expected, is like sharing the ultimate cheat code. Regular updates help you as a business plan and juggle workloads. 

4. Comeback Planning: 

As you gear up for their return, have a chit-chat (aka return to work) understand any special requests or adjustments for a smooth re-entry. Help them re settle and get cracking with the work. 

5. Look After Number One – Your Well-being: 

During this its often that you have taken most of the strain. So ensure you do ensure that you are OK. Remember your mental state really does matter when your managing a team. And keep an eye on the returning colleague, many diligent workers come back a tad early and they may need you to gently suggest a few go homes to help avoid another bout of sickness. 
And remember try to stay germ-free! For those who can, get them to work from home if they’re infectious. This will reduce overall sick days for the team whilst speeding up the sicky homeworkers recovery and full return. Contact your business consultant in Manchester for more support. 
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