As businesses start coming back to life and employees return to their normal working environment, a new challenge arises.
How do managers re-engage and re-motivate their workforce?
The past few months have been uncertain and turbulent at times. Everyone has had their own experience whether that’s been home schooling children, worrying about their finances, adapting to being on furlough or even dealing with the loss of a loved one.
As lockdown measures ease, employees will be returning to a place of work which may look very different given that special measures must be implemented to keep employees and customers safe.
With so much change, it is vital that employers make a real effort to support their workforce in adjusting back to work.
Here are 5 ways to do this:
Showing your people that you care will immediately get them on side. As mentioned, everyone has had a unique experience of lockdown, some better than others so asking people how they’ve been, how their families have been, and genuinely taking this on board will help set the tone upon their return.
Whether most of the team have been on furlough or they’ve been working remotely, when they get the opportunity to reunite again it should be a positive and energised experience. If work and targets are the first thing on managers lips, this moment will be lost so try and get people together for a social occasion or even simply a coffee morning on the first day back so they can reconnect and feel like a team again.
Many changes will have already been made to adapt the workplace to government guidelines and it is likely that over the coming months, more changes will be required. The key is to communicate changes, in advance where possible to the whole workforce so everyone feels in the loop. Being as positive as possible in communicating will filter through to the mindset of the teams.
One thing that the pandemic really shone a light on is the importance of health, both physical and mental and this is something that should be prioritised by all businesses moving forward. There will be a lot of pressure on companies to make up losses they’ve experienced over the last few months and it’s likely that on top of re-adapting to work, employees will also feel additional stress and anxieties. Be sure to encourage work life balance and monitor signs of stress and burnout so intervention can happen before things go too far.
It’s hard to get a sense of a company’s culture with everyone working remotely and after much time away from the workplace, it’s important to re-establish it when everyone returns. There might be elements of company culture that have changed as a result of covid19, such as more flexibility to work from home, new communication styles and more empathetic leadership to name a few. Now is the time to capitalise on this change and move forward as a team towards the common goal.
It’s a real positive that businesses can finally start bringing their teams back and by planning ahead for the best ways to re-engage them will ensure they return with energy, positivity and are at their most productive.
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