Putting people at the heart of return-to-work plans

There’s an end in sight for the days of remote work, drive-up member service, and A/B shifts. So, how are you preparing? Most return-to-work plans focus on logistics like sanitization and scheduling, but it’s important to consider how we prepare and engage our people in the process. Here are five actions you can take to ensure a successful re-entry: 

Get your house in order

Many employees are craving routine and community, and we need to be ready. With all the details that will plague us, it’s important to lead with social distancing guidelines and some quick wins to get the ball rolling.  

Action: Consider repurposing conference rooms, lunch rooms, and other communal spaces to allow for more distance. Be thoughtful about the shared workplace activities where employees come together like recycling bins, printers, and entry points. 

Engage employees in the solution

Last week, Chary Krout shared how leadership will impact employee experience now more than ever. She called out the importance of including employees in the return-to-work conversation, and to be clear that this process will involve compromises, and the goal is to find the best solution for the employee and to ensure team deliverables can still be met. 

Action: Create an exercise for departments to revisit team deliverables and goals, and reprioritize as needed. Then, talk to each of your employees to understand any unique working or scheduling needs and share the plan back to the team.  

Connect on a personal level

Stress and anxiety levels are higher than ever. Additionally, some employees are dealing with logistical challenges such as child/senior care, limited public transportation, and empty PTO banks. Don’t overlook the importance of asking questions and listening to see how you can help. 

Action: Have frequent and personal check-ins with your employees. Even a 5-minute phone call just to see how they are is meaningful. If they’re struggling, encourage them to reach out to Human Resources or remind them of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Review employee goals and expectations

Work has changed over the past five months. Employee’s goals, job role and schedule might look vastly different. There’s no better time to come together, review goals, identify any changes and re-align expectations. 

Action: Schedule a 1:1 dedicated to the employee’s role and responsibilities. Consider: Is there a change in the goals and what is expected? Will a different schedule be requested or required? 

Prepare your people for what’s next

Credit unions are going to need to remain agile and pivot to address the ever-changing market conditions — and so will our employees.  Focusing more resources on professional development will not only help employees feel valued and grow their resume, but better equip your credit union for any future business disruptions.

Action: Prepare a customized development plan in partnership with your employee. Include a focus on technical skills, but don’t forget soft skills like resiliency and adaptability. Make sure you help your employees set aside time to complete plan activities and share their learnings with others.

With so much content and advice for businesses on the future of our work and how to prepare our workplaces, we can’t lose sight of what we’ve put at the center of our organizations for decades – the people. If you’re able to put your employees at the center of your return-to-work plan, you’ll not only ensure engagement, but demonstrate compassion—something we’re all craving right now.

Molly Lehrsch

Molly Lehrsch

As Co-Owner & Partner at Cultivate, Molly is dedicated to helping credit union leaders drive measurable results through innovate people strategies. Leveraging her diverse background in corporate communications, public relations ... Web: https://www.cultivateresults.com Details

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