A Reset Plan For Any Business
Working from home has become the new normal, but eventually offices will be able to open back up when the government lifts their restrictions. Companies must start preparing by engaging their employees in a discussion about reintegration. Establishing these policies and processes up front will build trust between you and your employees, showing them that you are doing everything you can to make sure that they feel safe.
As an organization your reset plan should have these components:
Planning the transition
Before you open back up to your employees, it's essential that you reexamine your infrastructure as a whole. What steps should I take to make sure all of my employees feel safe? Should there be guidelines about social distancing? Should I require all my employees to wear masks in common areas and during meetings? Should I have them self screen every morning before coming in? How effective will that be?
Getting a team with representatives from all departments is the best way to address these issues. What will work for you might not work for every other business based off of the unique factors of your organization, but one factor should be universal across every organization and that is employee safety.
Once you have decided on the best way to reintegrate back into the office, you need to communicate that plan to your employees and managers. Including guidance on flexible back-to-work options to help balance life and work due to the challenges some of them may have faced. You may also want to consider transitioning back into the office in phases, by only having certain teams on site, continuing to have certain people work remotely, or giving your employees the flexibility of both options. Giving them options and flexibility will be beneficial in the long run.
This is a very stressful time and as managers you need to be mindful of the stress that people have been feeling. Employees should not feel pressured or pushed to return immediately. Instead give them the platform for their questions and concerns about returning to work. A lot of people are still living in a state of fear and showing empathy will go a long way in easing your team through this transition.
Re-engaging your teams
A great way to re-engage your team is giving them a platform that they can share their stories of how they navigated the pandemic. This will allow them to reconnect with coworkers and help them heal from these hard times. This would be an incredible time to recognize employees who went above and beyond during the stay at home order.
It's also very crucial to ensure that there is an emphasis on reactivating the engagement channels through team activities or events to get everyone together. Everyone is at a different place when it comes to how the pandemic affected them but it’s important to show them they have a support system throughout your organization.
Progress with a purpose
There will always be this feeling of continued uncertainty that you should not ignore and you always want to be aware that your employees may have been impacted. This has not been an easy time for anyone, so considering engaging experts on how to approach your employees social and emotional issues in a healthy way is a great investment.
Right now we aren’t quite sure what the post-crisis world will look like. Managers should consider re-evaluating and readjusting some company policies related to working from home and traveling. This shows your employees that you are adjusting to accommodate the current reality we are in, and giving them the reassurance that you are doing all that you can to make them feel safe.
We don’t know what the world will look like after this pandemic is over, but it’s best to be prepared and know that you have all the right tools to be successful while making your employees feel safe.