It has been quite a journey! Everything we know has been tested; our relationships, our resolve, our resilience to name but a few. We had to quickly transition, from crisis management to establish stability and are now starting to move into recovery where we will all be looking to find our new “normal”.
Through conversations and through our own experiences, we have been hearing how people have been affected and how they are dealing differently with the situation. As we start to move into recovery, all these different emotions and experiences will be back together again in the workplace, a potentially dangerous cocktail if not supported and managed sensitively.
It would be naive to believe that everyone is content with the measures currently in place now without checking it out. People who are still working may be feeling resentment about their workloads when some of their colleagues are furloughed. In some instance’s subgroups are starting to form, developing a them and us culture. Furloughed workers may feel under-valued, they may be worried about what this means for their future at work, feeling cut off from the workplace and isolated from team members. Many, we know through our Covid-19 engagement tool are looking for other roles now.
So, we’re starting on a new journey together and to get this right, we will need to review where we are right now before we set off. We’ll need to regroup and carefully plan our route and understand what measures are needed to support people now and in the coming weeks. When we’re ready to go, we’ll need to get everyone set up for success and will be looking to reintegrate our teams, so we are ready for the journey and to rebuild our future together. Here’s our 4 R’s and some thoughts on what you’ll need to consider:-
Review – What is your starting point?
• How are your people and teams doing right now and are there any risks to the business? With concerns over mental health and wellbeing, it is critical to really understand this.
• What needs will people have – as well as considering safety and PPE, there will also be physical needs (around the office or if people continue to work from home) and, just as important will be emotional wellbeing to consider and how people are feeling about coming back
• What changes have been made to people’s employment/contracts and how has that impacted people?
• What communications have you done so far and are planning?
• What help will you need and from whom to support recovery? Will you need a project team and what role with your managers play?
• Have you got the right mindset as a business leader? It is easy to forget your own wellbeing and is important for you to be in the right place too
Regroup – Planning your route
• What have you learnt from your review? What is working and should continue and what might you need to start doing? What have been the challenges that now need addressing?
• What working practices have been successful that you want to embed that will continue to support people’s mental health and wellbeing?
• Will there be further changes or implications to employment/HR that will impact on people? How will you engage and communicate with your team?
• How will you implement any requirements identified and who will be involved and responsible? Are there people in the business that can help with emotional support and wellbeing around this?
• Have you got a plan for re-integration of the team? Are you planning phased or staggered returns and what considerations are you giving to enable people time to readjust?
• How will you prepare people ready for returning? Consider how you can help inspire and motivate people and address any concerns that might impact on wellbeing. Think about what you can do to reassure people and understand their individual concerns. Does your communication plan take this into consideration and help to manage expectations around new ways of working?
Reintegrate – Starting your new journey
• How will you get everyone re-boarding? Wellbeing through this period will be key. You will need to consider re-orientation for those returning to work and re-induction for furloughed workers to share new working practices and help people to feel safe
• What is the new vision for the future? Are your people returning to a caring and supportive environment?
• How are your managers feeling? The cocktail of emotions that will be present will be challenging to manage in this period. Managers will need to be prepared and ready themselves, and be able to support the engagement and wellbeing of their team.
• Is everyone ready to implement your communication plan? Managers will need to have regular 1:1s and team sessions in place to check in with people and continue to reassure people in the coming weeks.
• How will you monitor safety, physical and emotional needs? What support is available to people?
• What will you have in place to manage difficult situations (e.g. breach of social distancing rules/lack of cohesiveness in teams). It will be important that people feel safe to raise concerns and talk honestly and openly about potential issues. Do you have the trust and healthy conflict needed to support this?
Rebuild – Your journey together
• How will you keep everyone on board? You will need to consider opportunities to re-build and develop the team. Use the long-term vision to re-engage people and help them to be inspired by the future. Retention of your people to provide stability will be key here and with the cost of losing talent equating to 12-18 month’s salary, you cannot afford to lose them.
• Is it time to review again? This is the time to ensure that all safety, physical and emotional needs are now being met and that new working practices are being embedded. During the last few months, you will have learnt so much and it is important to capture this and continue to build on it.
• What is engagement like now? This will be a good time to measure engagement levels and identify what is and has been working and what might be missing. The only way to truly know this is to run a confidential engagement survey where people can be honest and open about their experience in the last few months.
• Have you made time to reflect on what you have achieved? You will have all been through so much together and making sure your people know how valued they are will be key to their wellbeing and engagement along with making time to celebrate success together
We’re here to help if you need it
Remember, as always, we are here to help with several solutions which we can bespoke for your needs.
We will also be running a FREE one-hour webinar on this on the 1st June at 3.30pm. To book your place, please click here and we’ll look forward to seeing you then.
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