Nobody could have predicted this last year. With many employees furloughed or temporarily laid off, it has been difficult for everyone. But now is the time to begin the process of reboarding those employees. With the government’s roadmap laid out, we are slowly getting back to a sense of normality. And, even though it is a ‘new normal’, there are things we can start to look forward to.
Reboarding employees has previously been associated with those who’ve been on long-term absence/leave. However, the same principles apply to staff who have been furloughed or temporarily laid off. Unlike Onboarding, which is introducing new workers to your business, reboarding is RE-introducing employees back to an organisation. And refamiliarising them with their role.
In this article, we will look at ways you can lay out your own roadmap, to successfully reboard your employees. Around 49% of office workers say they would look elsewhere for employment if their return to work was handled poorly. This gives you a huge opportunity to ensure you are planning for your business’s future success. And being a manager that your employees look up to and respect.
Set some objectives
Beginning the process of reboarding employees, one of the first things you should do is set some objectives. This isn’t a tick box exercise. It is an opportunity for you to show empathy to your employees, and lead by example.
By failing to plan your objectives, you’re planning to fail. In order for your business to move forward post-covid, you need to have a clear plan in place. Ensuring the wellbeing of your staff is one of your main objectives, will set you up for a promising start.
Examples of empathetic objectives
Some examples of objectives that show empathy toward your employees are:
- Learn/Use active listening skills and body language to show understanding of what the other person is saying
- Open up about your own insecurities/vulnerabilities to show you are human and have emotions too
- Find ways to create connections with colleagues and show a willingness to participate in their activities
Create a communication plan
Communication is key to the success of any business, pre and post covid. Employee productivity increases by 20 to 25% in organisations where employees are connected.
You need to be clear in your communication, so that your employees understand, and are onboard with your plan. Will there be new rules in place? If working from home you may call for 2-3 meetings per week. It’s crucial you explain why, so your staff don’t feel they’re being micro-managed. It’s important to share your plan with your employees, including any unknowns so they aren’t left in the dark. Job security is going to be a worrying time for everyone in the business, especially if you’ve relied on furlough. By being open, honest, and clear, it will help ease some of that worry, and increase productivity.
Provide support to your managers
Don’t forget that your managers will also need some extra support, as they won’t have been through this before either. Extra training might be needed, or some coaching sessions. But don’t blindside them with training, as they may feel you are undermining them. Instead, explain there is an opportunity for increased learning, and that you will be attending some sessions too.
Reboarding employees – summary
This is going to be a challenging time for everyone. But as challenging as it may be, it will also provide you with plenty of opportunity. Be open, honest, and clear in your communication and expectations, and be prepared to offer extra support where needed. With a clear plan and guide, you should be able to reboard your employees with less issues. There will always be bumps in the road and things you could’ve done better. But if you start planning now, and set some objectives, you should be on your way to a more streamlined reboarding process.