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Time to Return to Work!
Returning to work after a pandemic represents a significant change – and it won’t be without its ups and downs. What can you do to help employees successfully re-enter the workforce? Here are some tips from the Society of HR Management.
Help employees prepare to return to work.
- Give employees time to prepare to return to the workplace. Consider a phased approach – start with two days a week, then three, then the full week.
- Let employees know what you’re doing to ensure a safe workplace. Communicate your efforts before the employees return. Build trust that you’re doing the right thing.
Consider “welcome back” activities.
- If you’ve got a remote workforce returning to a physical location, consider offering activities to reconnect. Maybe make the first week back a celebration and start to rebuild connections. It’s important employees have the time and space to feel comfortable reconnecting.
- Find out what level of comfort the staff have with in-person meetings, using the lunchroom, etc.
Rethink your normal business practices.
- What topics require in-person meetings among staff?
- What will be your protocol for in-person client/customer/vendor meetings?
- Will your travel policy need to be reviewed?
Find out what training needs your staff have.
- Is there any learning and/or development activities staff need? Was there missed training opportunities to reconsider?
- Where are you with technology? Has anything been updated or changed that staff should know about?
Support your team.
- Recognize it will take time for employees to build a new routine after being at home alone or in isolation with children, elderly parents, and pets. Be flexible in support of staff learning their new “normal”, as they may still be juggling remote learning for their children, dealing with elder-care, or other challenges. Whatever supports you can make available to them will help.
- Every team member faced unique challenges to continue to work in unprecedented times. Every person in your organization kept it running during extraordinary circumstances. Be grateful and show it.
An experienced HR company like The Employer Group has the people and resources available to help you through the toughest HR decisions. Contact us if your business needs HR expertise.