In the meantime, retailers, waiters and educators have largely returned to their jobs, giving us a sense of emerging normality. In the next step, many employees will now gradually return to their offices from home or short-time work, and companies will switch back to "normal operation". But what is important when it comes to reboarding employees, away from hygiene rules and keeping distance? Our HR ARTiSts experts have summarized how the changeover for employees can be made smoothly and how the - positive and negative - experiences of the last few weeks can be processed for a successful re-start.
The crisis has revealed ruthlessly which corporate activities are solid and make long-term economic sense and which stumbling blocks do not stand up to the new reality. Corporate strategies and goals have therefore been realigned. Employees also had the opportunity to reflect on the current situation and to think about the future of the company during their time at home. For this reason, entrepreneurs as well as managers should always ask their employees whether and which ideas they could develop for the future of the company. What are their thoughts? What are their concerns?
It is advisable to take all this very seriously and to integrate complementary visions into the corporate strategy. This is the right moment to give a fresh impetus to the promising idea management and at the same time the chance to listen to each individual and appreciate their contributions. Co-determination and co-creation are one of the greatest motivators for employees and can be optimally used at this point to create the necessary atmosphere of departure for the way out of the crisis. Now it is important to take the entire team along on the new path and to swear them in to make the strategy for the re-start a success. The key word here is transparency. Employees can only do their job successfully if they internalize, even share and pursue the plans and goals of the company with their own conviction. At this point, the involvement of all employees is an important success factor for achieving the company's goals and implementing a fresh start that is lived.
The question "How are you?" is asked far too rarely - especially by managers. And here we mean the serious question in the direction of participation, which necessarily also allows unexpected answers. It is essential to pick up all employees on a personal level, because the Corona crisis is a hard time not only for companies, but for every single person. Since the experiences of isolation, illness or even loss of close people are very different, the well-being of colleagues is also very individual. Managers should take the needs, feelings and worries of their employees seriously and, if there is a particularly large need for talking or depending on the personal topic, offer a conversation with a coach as support. For the cooperation between manager and employee it is important to know who still has something to process and who is just full of energy because they can finally go back to the office. If the team worked in the home office, they should evaluate together how it went. What went particularly well? What positive aspects could be observed in terms of processes, collaboration and productivity? What difficulties arose and how were they solved? And the most important question is which experiences can be integrated into future everyday life. The joint answering of these questions as a team draws the new - for this team individual - working world under ideal working conditions. Each team member has the opportunity to contribute his or her own ideal and thus hybrid structures for cooperation develop.
Studies on the world of work over the last few weeks have shown that the experience in the home office is largely positive, but some employees would like to return to the office because they find more ideal working conditions there. As the pandemic is not yet over, it will make sense for many employers to continue to allow a mix of attendance times and work in the home office in order to make it easier to observe distance rules in the office. In order to keep collaboration at a high level in the long term when working remotely, it is important to further increase the digital maturity of the team and to provide a suitable infrastructure. Colleagues working from home should not feel disconnected from their colleagues in the office because they do not notice the short conversations at the coffee machine. After the long period of isolation and video meetings, the summer months should be used to bring the team back together. Classical team workshops are not yet possible again, but also outdoor activities with a certain distance are good for the colleagues and the team spirit. For the WE feeling, the team can also consider a common welcoming ritual - away from handshakes or hugs. Despite the necessary distance, this brings a bit of warmth back into everyday office life.
Finally, a little tip to increase well-being in the office: The distance rules have created empty spaces or free desks. A flower or a photo from the last team event make these areas look friendlier.