As businesses partially or fully reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, they face the extraordinary challenge of convincing their employees it’s safe to come back to work. Covid has affected everyone in different ways, and while some employees are excited to come back, others feel overwhelmed by the prospect. Here are some ways to encourage your employees to get them to resume work.
1. Reassure Your Employees
Many employees are anxious and fearful about going back to work, fearing that they may contract the virus. You can reassure them by letting them know what plans and measures you’ve put in place to keep them safe at work. Tools like CleanRated can help. Safety measures may include:
- Implementing employee health screening procedures
- Establishing social distancing measures like restructuring workstations
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, face shields, hand sanitizers, and gloves
- Providing disinfectant wipes to employees
- Having workspaces deep cleaned every day
- Developing a response plan for employee exposure
2. Embrace Flexible Working Schedules
If your employees have been working at home, coming back to work full-time can prove challenging to some. To make it easy, you can have your employees split their time working remotely and at the office during the week. You can also introduce staggered shifts, where employees have a different start, break and finish times. You may have a certain number of employees come in every day or have others come early or late. This can help ease congestion at the workplace so you can better keep your employees safe.
3. Provide Emotional and Mental Support
In the wake of the Covid crisis, many employees are struggling with re-entry anxiety. This refers to the dread employees may feel about returning to work during a pandemic. You need to show your employees that you care about their mental and emotional well-being. You can do this by providing mental health and wellness services to your employees at no charge to them. Cover their visits to telehealth mental health professionals or web-based meditation classes.
4. Offer Childcare Assistance
With many schools and child care centers closed, working parents are faced with hard choices regarding their children’s care. You can help your employees by offering childcare assistance in the form of virtual or in-home childcare. Knowing that their children will be taken care of can motivate your employees to come to work. You can also allow parents to have flexible work schedules if you can’t provide childcare assistance. You can work with parents to come up with flexible arrangements like shifting hours so they can come in early or late.
5. Keep Open Communication
You need to keep your communication open and transparent. Communicate clearly and often using multiple channels to avoid misinformation. When conveying safety-related messages, also include an inspiring message to keep up their spirits. Express empathy to your employees and your appreciation for their services.
Show your employees that you care about them and let them know that management is willing to listen and address any issues where possible. Provide channels to freely express their concerns, such as via the HR, manager, or a safety committee. When employees know that superiors hear their voice and their needs and concerns are met, they will be more comfortable returning to work.
6. Change Your Policies
If you don’t provide family medical leave, paid sick leave, medical insurance, or hazard pay, you might want to start doing so now. Your employees are dealing with a lot, and providing these incentives can go a long way in getting them to come back to work.
It’s important to acknowledge that this is a difficult time and your employees are scared of returning to work. To get them to come back to work, you need to show them that you care about their safety and that you’ve taken steps to protect them. You also need to provide them additional support like mental health services, childcare assistance, and paid sick leave.
It’s also important to make sure employees know what they are getting with your company. A total compensation statement, like those offered by COMPackage.com, can an employee see how generous the company has been in terms of the value of the many benefits (obvious, and not-so-obvious) you provide.