Communities across the country are attempting to re-open and sending employees back to work. Our experience is unprecedented. As business leaders, we are in uncharted territories. We’ve never been through this before. There is no handbook or best practice for returning to work after quarantine during a global pandemic crisis. We are all figuring it out as we go.
As the CEO of my company, I am equally concerned about the health of my business and the health of my employees. I am very proud of my team and their ability to work from home and maintain high levels of productivity despite the challenges and distractions. We are all fortunate to have easily made the transition to work from home. Now we are in a position to support our clients as they make decisions to return to the workplace.
With help from ej4 and our new off-the-shelf videos, training and L&D teams are positioned to take the lead to support a smooth transition for employees. Since the stay-at-home orders began, we have been working closely with our clients to understand their concerns and unique training needs to prepare for returning to work.
Coronavirus Precautions for Employees
We should recognize the fact that we are attempting to return to work after quarantine but during a pandemic. The virus is still in our communities so we need to be more vigilant than before in taking proper precautions.
Companies need to remind employees of common-sense hygiene practices:
- Wash your hands
- Stop touching your face
- Cover your mouth and nose
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect
- Avoid close contact
We have created a flyer for you to print off and hang in the common areas of your workplace to act as a visual reminder of these tips.
In addition, all of our clients received our courses on coronavirus precautions for employees and our series on pandemic planning. We’ve made these courses available to anyone. You can download SCORM/AICC files and upload them into your LMS at no charge.
Each week during the month of May, ej4 will be releasing new training videos focusing on the challenges being faced as companies reopen and employees return to work. We have approached this content from the point-of-view of employees, managers, and leadership. What emotions need to be addressed, what process or policies may need to change, how do these topics differ between the audiences? You can download the list of new courses here. They will be included in our business skills library.
Training for Employees
Employees have been dealing with a wide variety of situations that will affect the emotions and processes during their transition.
Emotions: People will be returning to work after the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19 and still grieving. Others may feel sad and worry about their friends who were laid-off or furloughed. Many people will have high stress and anxiety over the continued spread of the virus.
Process: Your employees may return to work to find they are manufacturing a new product in response to shortages of COVID-19-related PPE and hand sanitizer. Others will experience a new reporting structure due to layoffs and a reorganization. Everyone will likely experience new processes with social distancing, limitations on the number of people in the workplace, entrances/exits closed to direct everyone to a central location to have their temperatures taken, etc.
We have created the following courses for employees returning to work after quarantine:
- Connecting with Colleagues
- Navigating New Organizational Structures
- Cultivating Gratitude
- The Emotions of Returning to Work
- How to Handle a Lack of Organizational Transparency
- Taking Remote Work Lessons Into the Office
- Remote Work as a Way of Working
- Post COVID-19 Career Planning
Training for Managers
You rely on your managers to direct resources appropriately and get processes running efficiently again. At the same time, they will need to manage the emotions the employees are feeling and provide support to the best of their abilities. Employees look to their managers for guidance on how to navigate the changes.
The following courses are targeted to managers and supervisors returning to work after quarantine:
- Creating a Culture of Transparency
- Managing the Whole Person
- Guiding Teams Through Stress
- Sharing Workplace Challenges
- Spreading Positivity
- Handling Employee Reviews and Raises
- Embracing Remote Work
- Reshaping the Office: Guide Your Team Back to In-Office Work
Training for Leadership
In any company, the leadership team sets the tone for the company culture, expectations, and goals. The work environment is going through great change. Employees need to be nimble and responsive while remaining fully productive. Actions by leadership can directly affect employee motivation and their willingness to pivot as needed.
We created the following courses for leadership to facilitate the dialogue needed for transparency and policy change:
- Evaluating Remote Work & Flexible Schedule Policies
- Creating a Culture of Transparency
- Creating a Culture of Gratitude
- Reconnecting with Clients
- Company-Wide Communication Strategies
- How to Structure Your Teams Return to the Office
- Organizational Culture & Values
- Social Distancing and Business Strategy Considerations
- Evaluating How You Fared with Risk and Crisis Management
Once things settle down and you have time to reflect on your company’s response and preparedness, you may want to re-evaluate. Here are a few resources that may be helpful: