It’s time to start to re-onboard your team, but where do you start?

Like most of the UK, you’ve probably spent the last few months working from home with most if not all of your team furloughed.  We’ve all adapted to this new way of working and just as we have the routine nailed down, things change again!

Businesses are starting to re-open and whilst the focus on remote working is likely to stay for some time, if not forever, it’s important that as your team start to spend the odd day, week or more in the office that you focus on how to re-onboard everyone.

It would be short-sighted to think that things will just go back to how they were overnight.  Colleagues have been used to a different working environment and coming back to the office, albeit a familiar environment, can feel like starting a new job all over again. There will be new processes, maybe new working hours and your team are likely to have lots of questions.

The first few days and weeks are the most crucial and getting it right from the start will be the key to success.  It’s not just the new health and safety rules – social distancing, hand sanitiser and all the other things you have spent the last few weeks organising.  Overlooking the re-onboarding experience could be detrimental to your business.

So where do you start? Here’s our 5 ways to successfully re-onboard your team after lockdown.

Communicate Any New Processes And Be Available for Re-Onboarding Related Questions

No doubt a lot has changed in your work environment. New working practices, change of layout. We are sure that there are lots of things that you will need to communicate. Prior to having the team back in the office, you will need to share these changes with them. Imagine your team are all new starters again. Create a communication plan to start to re-onboard your team. Some people in your team will have concerns but this could simply be due to the fear of the unknown. Give them everything they need but be sure to be available for questions. And, if you realise that the same questions are coming up from multiple members of your team, you can even create an FAQ document for everyone to have access.

Access What’s Worked During Lockdown

Again, this is another way that things won’t simply got back to normal for so many businesses. Some of your team will have not adapted too well to working from home, for all sorts of reasons. But there will be some people who have really thrived and actually been more productive. It’s important to remember that some of your team may have used this time to think about their priorities in live. Some may even decide not to return to work at all. Don’t assume that everyone will be fighting to come back.

Accessing what has worked during lockdown and what elements you can now integrate into you new way of working will mean that you have a team who are happier, more engaged and more committed to the business. Listen to what your team want and be sure to review new ways to continue to do business and look after the health and wellbeing of your team. More on that later…

Goals for re-onboarding

Set Attainable Goals

There’s likely to be disruption in the first few weeks and months of the new normal. Setting attainable goals and communicating these to your team will help ensure that everyone has the same focus and the business will continue to achieve its goals.

Including your team in the goal setting process will make sure that they are bought in and more likely to succeed. Review these goals on a weekly basis. Give you team direction and actionable items. Guide them all to achieve and you will all have something to celebrate at the end of the month!

Be Available As You Re-Onboard and Beyond

Just like a new starters, your team will need regular one-to-one sessions with you as you re-onboard. Make sure that there are regular sessions in the diary and that all your team know what to do if they have any questions. Some of your team may be reserved about bringing any issues to the table. Have a process in place where feedback is encouraged and acted upon (where appropriate). The more you listen, the more likely you will know about problems whilst they are small enough to fix.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Your team will have been through an emotional rollercoaster over the past few months. Be mindful of this and do what you can to support them. There are plenty of options available for all levels of budget – some are even free! Why not form a wellbeing group? Get together one person from each department in your company. Give the team a monthly budget to spend on health and wellbeing initiatives. This makes sure that your employees feel in charge. Let them decide what they want and what they don’t want. It may be something simple as monthly yoga classes, weekly team walks or flexible hours. Show your team that you care and let them take some control.

We really hope that this simple guide has given you some ideas for getting your team back to the office. We are starting to see the UK get back to business and we are here to support you through this time. Maybe you need some temporary staff to cover those who are not ready to return? Maybe you are focusing on getting more sales? Increasing your customer service levels? Hiring temporary staff could be the ideal solution – get in touch with one of our expert consultants and see how we can help.