People Management found that a fifth of employers are reopening workplaces from September and a third will ask employees to come in for a certain number of days a week unless they’re shielding.
HR teams will already know that it’s so important to manage this process carefully and ensure that staff feel safe and secure enough to come back to work. But it’s not that simple. Employers will need to be more agile going forward, and HR will be the driving force.
So how will the best HR leaders ensure the success of their businesses longer term?
People will be expecting their employers to facilitate a mixture of office and remote working, based on personal preferences. One size doesn’t fit all, so catering to employees’ needs (and showing this flexibility when recruiting new talent too) will be key.
The role of HR will be to successfully implement this – and provide training to managers to help them engage their distributed teams.
HR will also need to monitor any gaps in manager and employee effectiveness, ensure teams can build trust – and that they have the digital tools to perform at their best.
Managers of people will need to be increasingly agile in the way they lead their teams. People are already working in all sorts of environments with different circumstances, so it’ll be more important to take these differences into account.
The best managers will be the ones who embrace agile ways of working, stay connected with their employees, and show empathy along the way – both for in-office and at home employees.
If your company hasn’t already invested in digital learning, development or coaching tools, it’s time to adapt! I’m not just talking zoom calls here, it’s providing employees with the facility to develop and grow – and be motivated to do so even when they’re not in the office.
Think of the savings you’re making on office costs if staff working are remotely, and how you could reinvest this to make the experience of working in a distributed team better for the whole team.
Take a proactive approach, do the sums, and offer positive financial recommendations to the leadership team. This could push the company’s digital transformation, and the wider business performance, forward much quicker.
Yes, we all know what we need to do legally to bring people back to work. But you and your teams have been through a lot during this pandemic, so communication is vital in the ‘return to work’ phase, and beyond!
People are looking for safety from their employer, and as a HR professional you’re well placed to lead the way on an effective internal comms strategy that satisfies this need.
Your leadership team may have the best plan to look after your peoples’ health and wellbeing, but if it’s not communicated in the right way then that feeling of safety will disappear.
I’m sure you already know that showing a human side is so important here.
And don’t forget – when planning your comms, make sure the language that’s used by management and HR is consistent for a clear message.
Placing employee care the centre of your organisation’s culture, and communicating it well, will show your staff you’re there for them as they return to the workplace – which in many cases will look and feel different to before.
There’s a lot for employers and employees to think about at the moment. So just ensure your organisation is promoting the fact that health and wellbeing is a top priority.
Read more: HR Daily Advisor has a great article on the importance of employee care with some actionable steps HR teams can take in relation to the points I’ve listed above.