As Covid restrictions continue to lift, the next few months mark a period of transition for many employers and employees. Whilst many look forward to returning to the workplace and catching up with colleagues, it is expected for some employees to have worries and concerns. As an employer, it’s paramount that staff can turn to you for support and guidance. Keep reading to discover how you can effectively manage your staff’s return:

COMMUNICATE REGULARLY AND COMPASSIONATELY

By catching up with employees regularly on a one-to-one basis, you give them the space to bring up any concerns they may have. This also gives you the opportunity to connect with your team and create a supportive environment. Listen compassionately by assuring your staff that they can openly address their concerns to you without fear or judgement. Despite a reported 66% of employees expressing anxiety about returning to the workplace, many feel alone in their concerns. Many employees have been directly impacted by Covid-19. As an employer, showing understanding and communicating
kindly is key to creating a safe space in the workplace. Not only will increased trust boost employee motivation, but also job satisfaction – thus lowering turnover rates for your company.

OFFER FLEXIBLE WORKING

Throughout the pandemic, many employees have adjusted their personal lives to fit around their new working schedules. Returning to work can create added stress when these adjustments clash with working hours. Alternatively, moving back to the office and socialising after the long period of time spent working from home can induce anxiety. By installing a phased return to work, you can ease the shift for your employees. Ask your staff how they feel about returning to work and provide support by offering a hybrid working schedule. With time, gradually increase their workplace hours. Giving employees the chance to decide how they’d like to return to the workplace, reduces anxiety. This gives employees a sense of control, making the transition smoother.

ADDRESS EMPLOYEE CONCERNS

Although flexible and continuous remote working may be beneficial, it’s critical to ensure this isn’t the permanent solution. There’s no doubt that the circulated fear of Covid-19 is justified, but as an employer, reassurance and mental wellbeing support can go a long way. Find out what your employees concerns are by sending out a survey, where employees can voice concerns anonymously. Address these and provide solutions in a team meeting. You can also support your employees by providing wellbeing resources to help your staff reduce stress and maintain their physical and mental health. By signing up with OptiMe, your team will be introduced to a range of exciting and engaging wellbeing workshops, stress relieving exercises and healthy recipes! Find out more at here.

ADHERE TO COVID GUIDELINES

Last, but definitely not least on our list is making the working environment Covid-safe. By adhering to government guidelines, staff will feel reassured that their Covid-related concerns are being taken seriously. Continuously check for updates at Government workplace guidelines to be sure your organisation is following standard measures. Alert your employees of Covid related procedures. This includes frequent testing, and symptom reporting so your team feels confident about what to do in all circumstances. Encourage mask wearing where appropriate and establish rules for anyone visiting the workplace. Lead by example. By enforcing these tips yourself, your staff will too. This will benefit your full team and wider organisation.

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