In last week’s blog, “Creating Your Return-to-Work Strategy,” we went over some simple steps that served as an outline for your return-to-work strategy. If you already created yours or have already started implementing it and are looking for more innovative ideas, then keep reading! We have created a list of more in-depth, innovative tips to get you thinking outside the box when it comes to returning to work.
Tips to Get You Thinking Outside the Box
1. Focus on Mental Health in Addition to Physical Health: Consider creating the time and space for employees to talk about their lockdown experience. Recognizing personal and team wins, as well as the struggles everyone has overcome can help spark the connection we have all been missing and help begin the road to normalcy. For those who may not want to open up to everyone about their experience, consider adding either virtual or in-person connects to your benefit program if you haven’t already!
2. Boost Morale: Returning to work can be unsettling for some employees. Everything will be different and that can make it difficult to get back into the swing of things, all of which can cause low morale. One way to make employees more comfortable and boost morale in the new workplace is to plan a fun and safe team building exercise. Some ideas include a group yoga class, a group hike, a steps or activity challenge (with prizes!), or even an office game day. Just keep social distancing and mask wearing requirements in mind!
3. Strengthen Your Culture: Think of the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to strengthen your company culture. Open up real, authentic two-way communication so employees have the chance to make their challenges and concerns known. This will not only help management teams identify potential problems with their return-to-the-workplace plans but responding and acting on employee feedback can also help improve both productivity and engagement.
4. Lead into the Future: As a leader, your employees and team members will be looking up to you for guidance on how to navigate through the return-to-work process. This means that now is the perfect time to think creatively about the future of your workplace. Paint the vision of the future for your employees and discover unique solutions when it comes to improving resilience, culture, and engagement.
5. Be Transparent: When you begin implementing your return-to-work plan and communicating your unifying vision for the future of the workplace, remember to be transparent. Returning to work will have challenges and everyone will need time to adjust. Be open about the difficulties you or the organization may face and be upfront about any issues, demands, as well as new opportunities that may arise. Transparency creates trust, and trust makes it easier for everyone to work together towards the shared vision!