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Date posted: 28th August 2020
As every business across the UK has started to return to work, there is a lot of hesitation and uncertainty on what the future working world will feel like. From outdoor trades to office-based jobs, lockdown has affected every employee in different ways, and it is only normal that businesses and employees to feel a little anxious.
So, as an employer planning your business returning to work, what key factors should you be thinking about to protect your employees, both physically and mentally, whilst also achieving your business goals?
Often a lot of worry and uncertainty simply falls down to a lack of communication. Whilst we all know that it will be important to explain to your team what measures you have put in place to combat the further spread of coronavirus, we often neglect what simple communication can mean on a human level.
The most successful business leaders tend to be strong communicators to their employees, being open about the company’s plans and ensuring each individual understands the importance of their contribution to achieving these goals.
Good communication delivered by the right channels at the right time will lead to an engaged workforce with increased employee productivity, morale and ultimately profits!
Plan and prepare
We know, it seems obvious.
You have had months to plan and prepare for a return to work and you are more than likely bored of constant planning then re-planning. So, whilst your plans and preparations may be sound from a business goals perspective, have you thought about them from your employees perspective?
Of course, business goals are crucial, but without a comfortable and dedicated team to work alongside you, those goals will be nearly impossible to achieve. So try to think about your plans from the perspective of your team. Factors like:
This adjusted way of thinking will give you the opportunity to make returning to work as successful and comfortable as possible for everybody involved.
Take things one step at a time
Here at Kingswood Group, we are well aware of the financial impact that Covid-19 has had on businesses. It is only natural that you are excited to get back to what you do best and try to achieve your goals for the rest of the year.
However, it is important to remember where we are.
We are still living in a slightly strange and peculiar world, one that demanded enormous changes to our everyday life but also resulted in unprecedented financial challenges. It would be impossible to jump back into work head first with an intense work rate and expect every employee to do the same.
Take things one step at a time. This does not mean being lazy and counter-productive, this means it is going to take some time for every member of your team to get back up to speed. Be patient. Check in. Make sure that everyone understands the short and long term goals of the business and knows what needs to be done.
Monitor and Review
Put simply, creating a plan to get your team back to work is no easy task. Constantly monitor and review how the transition back to work is going, from a business perspective (is it working financially, is the business productivity level improving etc) as well how is it going from your colleagues perspective (do they feel safe, are they happy, can anymore be done etc).
Constant reviews and improvement will be vital in getting this process right for your business.
Finally… Be kind
Be it financial or emotional, the vast majority of us have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in one way or another. Every single person has dealt with loss, worry and anxiety in a different way during the lockdown period in the UK.
Transitioning back to work will be a difficult task for most people and kindness and understanding can go a long way.
That’s our list, if you want more expert HR and health and safety advice about returning to work, then make sure you check out the latest edition of our HR Podcast series with guest and health and safety expert, Jo Hunt, here: https://kingswoodgroup.org/about-us/news/podcast-returning-to-work-after-covid-19-ft-jo-hunt/
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