How to Support Your Team Going Back to the Office
With many precautions in place due to COVID-19, many industries are suffering from employee retention challenges as workers head back into the office. This is often due to fear, lack of funding, or demotivation. It can cripple your business productivity if not rectified quickly.
Here, we talk about four essential tips to get employees back to work and how to support your team going back to the office.
1. Support your Team
As a manager, you need to support your employees to the best of your capabilities. Ask yourself what systems have been implemented to support your workers during COVID. Utilize the following strategies to help safeguard your workflow.
Work from Home Policies
Many agencies and businesses have cut down losses by terminating workers. This is already a concern in the minds of your employees. By executing work-from-home policies, you ensure that work resumes as usual without disrupting the workflow. As part of this workflow, add steps to ready them for going back to the office. Most offices are looking at a balance between work from home and office days.
Flexible Time Schedules
As it is, there is a lot of pressure with lockdown and curfews in place. When transitioning from a work from home schedule, consider reducing strict working hours. Allowing your workers more time to spend with their loved ones will boost their morale and help them feel better about going back to the office set up.
2. Understand Fears
People cope with fear in different ways. Some of your employees may shut down, and others may go entirely off the radar. Learning to identify their concerns and support them is crucial to getting their head back in the game.
Start by encouraging them, lend an ear, and provide a platform for them to air out their concerns. Some may be anxious over the repercussion the pandemic has over their lives, family, friends, and even their job security. Things are changing yet again and they are likely unsure of what will happen next. Let them know that though there’s a crisis, you and the whole company care. When you help ease their dilemma, you restore balance and stability. In time, things will return to normal.
3. Engage and Motivate
Right now, most people are worried about what lies ahead. Boosting employee morale, especially during this pandemic, is vital to productivity and keeping the workflow moving. Not only will it help uplift the tension, but it also endorses positivity.
How to increase morale and engage with employees
- Break the ice and share pictures, humor posts, and videos.
- Discuss exciting topics such as hobbies, books, and movies.
- Engage their creative side. For example, host competitions to see who can design their face masks better.
- Host a BBQ, office costume party, or recreational activity.
- Start a hashtag and let it go viral.
- Allow a more relaxed yet professional atmosphere in the office.
Fostering a healthy bond with your colleagues is the right way of keeping things light and unburdens the weight during this critical situation.
Poor communication is the Trojan horse to many reputable industries, citing a loss of 62.4 million dollars annually. To avoid leaving your workers in the dark, enable proper channels of communication between you and them. Already people are stressed and are uncertain what lies next.
- Utilize communication platforms such as emails, video conferences, or direct phone calls to help engage your staff from time to time and relay relevant information.
- New guidelines and safety measures have been carved into company regulations due to the current pandemic. To help settle your workers, consider virtual training platforms to take them through the protocols. A sense of stability and communication will help coax your team to return. Outline the cleaning protocols and methods being used to ensure a clean and healthy environment.
- Hold frequent Q&A sessions to engage your workers. As a director/manager, you need to understand and address employee issues. A foundation raised in trust, solidarity, and sincerity will make your staff feel safe. As such they will feel more confident to return to work.
While things are slowly getting back together, this doesn’t necessarily mean your employees are ready to go back to the work office. However, by considering their feelings and placing protocols into action, you can make them comfortable and ease them into returning to the office. Communication will make all the difference to how your team reacts to the upcoming back to work changes.
Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?
Let’s talk about your business. With over a decade of experience leading companies and transforming lives, and a Master’s degree in Org. Development and Leadership, Mike can help you find the best way forward!