Post COVID-19 reboarding

Even though employees are returning to the same organization after Covid-19 pause/lockdown, a lot has changed. It’s time for a re-set – and not just back to “normal”.

During the last couple of months, we have helped several Danish companies to reboard their employees. Reboarding demands careful planning and consideration. Deciding on the best way to manage the situation is not easy, sometimes it helps with some outside perspective.

Now, we’ll like to share our experiences and shed light on some of the risks and opportunities that you need to address when reboarding your employees.

Welcome Back – Shine a Light on the Human Side of the Organization

Stepping back into the workplace after spending several months on pause and then just continue where you left. That’s not how it works if you want to take good care of your employees and ensure your business.

Now more than ever, it’s important to keep it real. This is the time to build a strong relationship with your employees. Empathy matters! It’s one of the essential leadership skills these days. And we have seen an increased need for communication in the workplaces. As an example, one of our customers send out videos with the latest company status and excitement about the employees returning.

Empathy and communication are the most effective way to bring down the uncertainty and the concerns among your employees. Yes, we know it’s not rocket science we share right now, but it’s nice to have a reminder, that it’s actually simple to make the employees feel a little safe again.

One of the Best Tools: A Return-To-Work Plan

One of the most helpful tools we’ve experienced is a detailed return-to-work plan covering areas such as new health protocols and policies, physical distancing, the role of managers, and more hands-on information. But you should also consider how preparing the employees for a new normal can be a part of the return-to-work plan.

Think Digital

Corona has taught us one important thing; we must be digital in as many aspects as possible, also when you train/reboard your employees. In that way employees are prepared for all the practical stuff when they show up again and what happened since they left off. One of our customers had to change the way the employees trained cleaning. Now they do it digital combining text and how-to-videos – and it works just as fine as before. We should not be scared to digitalize more areas. Many of us have already digitalized parts of our social lives many years ago and are probably ready for a more digitalized mindset in our worklife.

Keep the Employee’s Mental Health Top of Mind

An unfortunate side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is its impact on psychological distress and mental health. Being on pause can be stressful but it might also have been very stressful to work during the pandemic. Maybe your colleagues have been paused and you had to take over new tasks and the workload was increased. One of our customers sent out a video in collaboration with one of our Psychologists talking about what signals to be attentive about when employees return.

New Normal

Maybe this is an opportunity to reinforce organizational values, principles, and culture or reimagine your product(s), the way you do things, the way you work together. One of our business partners chose to focus on the positive things their employees learned during pause. If they exercised more, had more effective pauses and meetings, our business partner encouraged the employees to keep the new habits.