Top tips for making returning to the workplace easier for employees
For more than 12-months, employees have been advised to work from home where possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As the Government revokes this guidance, at least 51% of organisations globally are favouring hybrid workplaces.
Though many employees are looking forward to returning to the workplace, many have discussed their concerns and worries about doing so. Uncertain about what the future may hold, a large proportion of individuals returning to the workplace are left feeling somewhat anxious.
To ensure that employees feel optimistic about returning to the workplace, leaders and organisations must provide support and assistance as and where needed.
Our Top Tips For Making Returning To The Workplace Easier For Employees
Over the last few months, here at The Leadership Coaches, we have delved into building trust in hybrid teams. We have also shared how leadership coaching can improve mental health to support employees.
To further assist you as you look to welcome your team back to work, we have offered our top tips for making returning to the workplace easier for employees here.
Prepare The Workplace
Though preparing the workplace for employees may seem somewhat obvious, at least a quarter of workplaces are not implementing any measures to protect their people. Not only does this leave employees nervous about returning to the workplace, but it puts them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 at work.
From installing sanitation stations to equipping the workplace with signposts and social distancing measures, preparing the workplace before welcoming employees back is recommended.
Here at The Leadership Coaches, we also advise informing employees of the preparations that have been made. Answering any questions that your people may have will also reassure them. Take a look at what other innovations, organisations have put into place, such as colour-coded wristbands to respect people's boundaries on levels of contact.
Communicate Effectively With Employees
Though effective communication has always been vital in the workplace, with 97% of employees stating that communication impacts their day-to-day performance, it could be argued that communication is more critical now than ever.
Whether you are adopting a hybrid approach or asking employees to return to the office full time, you must communicate with your employees at all times. In addition to communicating and ensuring that they remain up to date, it is vital that you actively listen to what your employees are saying.
This has recently been reinforced by Helen Dean, CEO of Nest, who stated in her interview with us that communication is about listening, hearing, and understanding the things that are worrying people.
Provide Mental Health and Well-Being Support
Worldwide, COVID-19 has seen the number of people struggling with anxiety, depression, and stress soar. As a result, it is predicted that up to 10 million people will require additional mental health support.
Many organisations have tools and protocols in place to support their employees should they require mental health or well-being support. However, it is estimated that two-thirds of organisations are yet to provide mental health training to their leaders. Regrettably, this contributes to impaired mental health and sees up to 80% of employees stating that they would leave their job if they did not have sufficient support.
However, providing mental health and well-being support and encouraging your employees to be open and honest about any problems or issues they may encounter will make returning to the workplace easier. Likewise, if adopting a hybrid approach, motivating employees to take regular breaks and communicate regularly with colleagues will provide additional help.
Reassure Your Employees
Yet, when offered reassurance surrounding the steps that organisations have taken to ensure that returning to the workplace is safe, many employees are much more open to the thought of returning to the workplace.
As a result, when considering how to make returning to the workplace easier for employees, it is essential that you offer reassurance and, as touched on above, listen to any concerns that your people may have.
Invest In Leadership Coaching
In addition to taking advantage of our top tips for making returning to the workplace easier for employees, investing in leadership coaching comes highly recommended.
Although many believe that leadership coaching can only be employed to develop teams and ensure that teams work effectively together, leadership coaching can provide additional support in areas including mental health and well-being.
Leadership coaching additionally helps develop confidence and trust. It helps individuals identify and navigate stress and other emotions they may encounter as they turn their thoughts to returning to the workplace.