In this COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and IT companies have been affected. The work had to be stopped or the employees had to adapt to the work from home culture. This has completely affected the customer and sales of the organizations but now with things getting better, the companies are trying to end the furlough and bring the employees back to the office. It isn’t a simple process but large IT Companies like TatvaSoft are making a lot of efforts to make it possible. In this blog, we are going to talk about such efforts and ways the organizations coming up with to bring back employees after COVID-19.
Communication and Connection with Employees
Communication between the company and the employees is one of the most important things before they restart their work especially after something like COVID-19. The companies need to plan the details and see to it how and what the organization’s officials would talk to the employees. The organization should also plan for things like –
- What onboard training is essential for employees to help them learn the company norms and get used to the tasks?
- What new policies must be brought into life?
- What has changed since the employees left? And how will the management communicate about that?
Bringing Back and Motivating Lay-off Employees
1. Onboard Returning Staff Members
When the organization has to bring back the furloughed employees, the process isn’t exactly similar to hiring new team members. The reason behind this is that the returning employees were only gone for some time. Besides, they have already worked for your organization and have spent some time playing a significant role in the firm. And this is the reason why it is easy for them to pick up the work from where they left. But, usually, this is not the case. As a lot would have changed during the time they were not in the company. This means that the company will have to go through an onboarding process with every staff member that is returning from furlough.
Besides this, before the employees return to work, a proper schedule must be created to make them connect with each other and the company. The employees must be told about what the organization expects from them and what are the new policies they will have to follow.
2. Provide Information and Support to the Staff Members
There are high chances of the employees being worried about their future after everything they went through during COVID-19. That is why it is very important for the organization to do everything they can to put the employees’ minds at ease and provide them with all the statistics, information, guidelines, and support they require to feel comfortable. Basically, the management must try to build the gap between them and the staff members that was unknowingly built during the time they were away.
3. Acknowledge the Staff Members about the Furlough Experience
Furloughing staff members is not an easy process. The process is a bit challenging as the HR team of the organization has to completely focus on the future of the company & employees and see to it how the management can support the returning employees to move forward. Besides this, the organization also has to make sure that they make the employees understand the impact of the furlough. The staff members who are rejoining the firm must be given the space so that they can easily talk about the furlough-related issues. And let them know that the management of the firm appreciates them sticking with your organization.
4. Address the Expectations Clearly
When some of the employees were furloughed, the business was still running. This clearly means that the other employees had to handle the responsibilities of the furloughed employees. Therefore, when the lay-off staff members return back, it is essential to clear out who is responsible for what. It becomes essential to set clear expectations for both returning employees and current employees. The management must bring the entire group together to have a conversation and let them know about their responsibilities and the expectations the firm has from them. This will also help the team to divide up responsibilities according to their knowledge and skill set.
Come up With a Community for the Staff Members
The majority of the large organizations have a community that might no longer be in existence. But they can create it again to help the employees come back from isolation. This is necessary as some of the staff members would have worked from home but they might have missed the interaction they used to have with their community. Let’s see what the management can do by creating the community.
- Encourage the employees and make them feel a part of the organization like before.
- Though the finances might be tight because of the COVID-19, the firm must try to keep the professional development
Top 5 Ways to Make Employees Feel Safe While Returning to Office
1. Explain the Safety Protocol
It is obvious that the company will be busy managing the workforce that has just returned to work after the pandemic. But while managing the employees, the management must also ensure that the safety protocols are met. This is essential as the employees will be worried about coming back and working with other people. In such cases, the fearful employees are unproductive. Therefore, to make employees work fearlessly and help you grow your business, you need to prioritize their emotional well-being. And the best way to do that is to explain to them the safety protocol the organization is putting into place. Providing the backstory behind each action can make the staff members feel more secure in their workplace.
2. Adapt Flexible Self-Scheduling
The lockdown in COVID-19 had shut down all the operations for non-essential businesses and during that period the staff members were forced to work from home. And even after the lockdown is pulled back and the employees return to their work, there are cases where few employees will have to work from home because of their medical conditions. And in such cases, the businesses have to provide the flexibility of working from home.
Besides, the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 has forced many businesses’ to re-adjust their working. They are coined to adapt a self-scheduling method. This means that the managers have to schedule the needs based on the workforce demands.
3. Be Transparent With Employees
Being transparent is one of the main aspects that will make the staff member feel safe at the workplace. Therefore, whether it is sharing the company’s updates or listening to the employee’s personal concerns, the organization must be transparent in all things. Besides this, the employees might want to know everything about the predictable stuff during an unpredictable time. And they must be given all the information about it. The communication line must be open between the management and its staff members.
4. Make Community Safety Your Priority
It is easy to impose new safety measures for employees to follow, but it is difficult to make them use to if. For this, the companies need to create training materials and help the employees clearly communicate with them. This can make the employee feel safe and become aware of the fact their health won’t be affected if they come to the office for work.
5. Embrace in Cohorting
Cohorting is nothing but a step that involves limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the office by making the employees work in different shifts. This means that the employees will be split into groups to avoid cross-contamination. They will only remain in contact with their team members. In such cases, if one employee gets affected by the virus, then only his team will go into quarantine and not the entire office staff. This helps in preventing mass spreading and also ensures the well-being of the entire staff of the organization. By embracing cohorting, the companies make the employees work from the office and also keep them safe from the virus.
What do the Employees Need the Most After Returning to Office from Pandemic?
The most important thing that the employees need when they return to office after the crisis is trust, hope, compassion, and a sense of stability. It is all about being predictable in such a situation where everything happens all of a sudden. The staff members closely observe the decisions made by the management and see to it that are they valid or not? Here are some of the things that the employees look for –
- Does the management follow the rules they enforce on others?
- Is the management able to give valid reasons for the policies they want the employees to follow?
- Is there stability in the actions that the organization takes?
Whichever industry it is, bringing back the employees to work normally and giving them the flexibility to work in the office, is not an easy task. But as we saw in this blog, taking few things into consideration can make it easy for both the organization and the employees to work confidently in the current crisis.