Many companies are transitioning back into working in person. For some employees, this causes some stress and anxiety. To help your staff feel safe when returning to work, it’s important to let employees lead the way. It is key for you, as an employer, to discuss the rationale behind returning, describe measures you are taking to ensure their safety, and open communication about concerns. Implement some of these ways to make sure your employees feel safe when returning to work in person.
Talk About Why Returning is Important
Your human resources department and team leaders need to discuss the rationale behind returning to in-person work. Make the discussion open and welcome any questions your employees may have. If there is a solid rationale behind the return, taking the time to be sure your staff understands it is important.
Prep People Emotionally
Taking the time to prepare people for the emotions that may arise with returning to work is another critical part of making them feel safe. They will need to understand it won’t be returning to “life as it was.” Things will still be different. Just remember, everyone will have different feelings towards the return.
Make an Effort to Be Transparent
Be as transparent as you possibly can be before, during, and after the process of transitioning back into the workplace. Transparency will always make your employees feel more safe and confident in the company they work for.
Although your ultimate goal is to be back to work in the office full-time, be flexible with that goal. Offer your employees some options. Many companies have implemented a graduated move back to an in-person setting, meaning only a few employees come back each week or month. You can also offer your team a partially remote schedule as well to help alleviate some of the pressure of returning. Find out what works for your team and try to be as flexible as you can.
Let Your Staff Lead the Way
While being flexible, it is important to listen to your employee’s concerns and try to address them. This allows them to lead the way in a sense. If one of your employees is communicating that they have anxiety around returning, listen and allow some flexibility in your resolve for everyone to return right away.
Make the Transition Slow
It may be a good idea to keep a day or two a week to work remotely. You should also consider limiting group activities and projects from the start. These things will help your staff feel safer upon their return.
You must communicate guidelines for their safe return. These communication efforts should include protocols like wearing masks in the workplace, maintaining social distance, and identifying where sanitizer can be obtained in the office. Be clear about any rules that will be set forth. You should also communicate that if anyone does not feel safe to return that accommodations can be made.
Keep Communication Open
Finally, the most important thing you can do as an employer to make your staff feel safe upon their return to the workplace is to keep communication open. Be sure they are all comfortable with expressing their concerns. You should also make an effort to be clear in all the communication you send out. This will help make the transition smoother for everyone.
During your transition back into the workplace, you may find you are in need of staffing solutions. Contact PrideStaff Northern Virginia to see how we can help you fill in the gaps in your staff and set you up for success.