5 Ways to Support a Returning Workforce

Our view of the workplace has changed. Whilst for many employers working from home was a temporary measure, research indicates that many employees feel differently.

As businesses across the UK begin to tentatively re-introduce some employees back into the office, how can leaders ensure that their plans are not only COVID-safe, but employee-happy?

  • Culture of Communication

One of the real positive outcomes from the pandemic has been the improvement in company communication, with 46% of employees saying there had been a positive change in their company’s communication since the crisis began.

As nervous employees re-enter the workplace, business leaders need to keep these lines of communication open to ensure their team can come to them with any worries or concerns.

Consider producing a simple, but comprehensive guide about how you plan to keep your employees safe as they return.

Provide a forum where employees can raise their concerns/ask questions. If you think there are people in your team who are afraid to ask what they think is a silly question, nominate one of their peers to collate all the queries.

  • Keep New Good Habits

They say old habits die hard, but it well may be that some of the old habits you had in the office are no longer necessary.

In April, Microsoft Teams saw a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in a single day as businesses transitioned to remote working.

Re-assess what is necessary, chances are it will make you more time-efficient and productive.

Ask your team what they think should stay/go.

  • Remain Flexible

Working from home has given us an insight into the lives of our colleagues and clients like never before.

As employees juggle returning to work, school, childcare and extracurricular activities, remember to remain flexible. Keep in mind that not everyone is most productive between the hours of 9 to 5.

Where possible focus on output not hours and establish set times for critical activity, such as ‘must-attend meetings’ etc

  • Coaching Over Managing

Since March, most employees have been managing themselves, their time and their workload.

What they need as they return to the workplace is a supervisor/line manager who coaches them to be their best, rather than one that just tells them what to do.

By establishing a culture of continued learning and development, businesses can future-proof themselves and their talent pipeline.

  • Re-Iterate Your Company Values

Throughout the pandemic employers have been able to re-iterate their company values through the way the have engaged and protected their people.

As employees return to their desks, it is an opportune moment to once again engage with your team to reinforce your company values, mission and the culture of connectivity, that they felt to the company and their colleagues during lockdown remains post-pandemic.

Free Resources That Can Help:

Leadership Coaching Guide

Corporate Culture Under Pressure

Leading a Resilient Workforce

Transforming Attitudes and Actions: How Senior Leaders Develop Successful Workplace Cultures

Managers Matter

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