Successfully bringing employees back into work

April 28, 2021

The recent sunny weather has, no doubt, helped foster a more “up-beat” attitude and as the various key road map markers start to be successfully passed, many businesses are starting to think about “what’s next?” in terms of their employees.

Whether you are a business that has had to keep your premises open or an enterprise that is considering a return, the following are all important areas that should be carefully considered:

1. Is there a new / different way of working for you?

The rapid nature of the pandemic at the outset meant decisions often had to be made quickly and new patterns of work established.  Once established, these new patterns of working have often quickly become the “new normal” – as people accepted that things had to be different.

However, rather than just accepting that these practices are going to automatically continue or, equally, that your business will eventually return to the “old normal” – take a suitable amount of time to examine what practices have actually worked better for you over this period.  Does working from home increase or decrease productivity? How has it affected your cost base?  What mix of being in and out of the office might deliver a better overall return?

2. Understand the mood of your teams

As leaders and managers, we can often, unintentionally, fall into the trap of thinking that the way we view the world is shared by our wider team.   Whilst decisions always have to be made by the leaders of the business, making sure that this is done based on good intelligence and a real understanding of what is happening to the wider teams will be crucial for any business.

This will be doubly important in the current climate as we (hopefully) come out of the downturn caused by the pandemic.  As has been discussed previously in our newsletters, we have historically seen most businesses fail coming out of, rather than going into, a downturn.  This mostly occurs when people feel disconnected from their current organisation and, therefore, can be tempted away.

Understanding and delivering on what is important will make many more employees “sticky” to your business.

3. Acknowledge and reward

Even if your business cannot afford to give cash (or similar) payments, recognition and focus on contributions made during difficult times will again be crucial in creating a connection between the organisation and its people.  With numbers of people allowed to get together socially increasing, do consider what inexpensive activities you might be able to do to help reinforce this connection.

If you would like further information about the points raised in this article, please do contact Stuart James.

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