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Support your employees as they return to the workplace

  • Posted on
  • Author: Charlotte Edwards

With many companies in the UK planning to welcome back their employees to the workplace in the coming months, have you considered how you can utilise your Sage People org to support this return?

Communication

Are you in contact with your employees about your companies’ expectations to return to the workplace and what they need (and want) to know?

Whilst some people might be eager to be back in the workplace, others will be more hesitant, and everyone will have questions. Therefore, the company needs to clearly communicate what they expect from their employees and outline what is being put in place to safely support people in the office or on-site.

Questions employees might be thinking about include:

  • How will I get to work? Does this differ from my previous commute and does it impact me working in the office or on-site?
  • What might be different as I arrive at my place of work?
  • Who will be there?
  • What services will be available e.g. canteen, corporate gyms?
  • What might I need to do differently to get my role done if I am in the workplace?

 

Consider creating a WX service around Covid/working practices for your employees to access guidance, expectations, contact details and other key information around working practices.  Whilst you might send a letter or email to your employees, consider that new joiners will also want to understand what is in place and expected. Changes are likely to continue to fluctuate and so having an area employees know they can refer to for the latest updates from your business will keep them informed and give them some degree of security in these uncertain times.

How are your employees feeling about being in the office or on-site?

The pandemic will have affected everyone in different ways and so consider what the company needs to know from their employees before they return and how they can support them. Many people may have been shielding, isolating, juggling childcare or caring responsibilities for a long period. Others might have suffered illness or bereavement. Understanding your workforces’ needs will allow you to support them, so consider using Pulse surveys to gauge your workforce’s confidence about returning to your offices and sites.

Once your offices and sites are open, schedule regular pulse surveys to find out if employees have been in and if so, what their experience was like and how they are feeling about being back in.

Pulse surveys can be anonymized if necessary and are usually an easy to complete set of questions that can generate valuable data for your business. Checking in on how your employees are doing provides a positive message to them that the company is considerate of their well-being.

Ensure your managers have the right toolkits and support available to them in WX to communicate with their teams and in welcoming them back to the workplace. Sage People settings allow for internal communications, including documents, to be revealed just to managers.

Consider whether there is the need for return-to-work meetings or to offer other sources of support to your employees and how you might use the Sage People system to communicate this and if necessary, record it.

Policies and procedures

Have you recently updated any policies or handbooks around working remotely or being in the office after a period from home?  Make sure your employees and managers are aware of these changes by sharing the updates in WX and if necessary, add a ‘confirm when read’ notification to the WX process.

Recording who is in the office / on-site

With many companies unlikely to return to being full time back in the office or on-site, consider adding an ‘In the office’ or ‘Working from home’ absence reason to your Time off configuration allowing managers to view when their team plan to be in the office and the business to report on if necessary.

Different locations

Remember to bear in mind that different locations may have different restrictions or requirements in place around the pandemic.  Companies need to consider what content their employees need to receive based on their location. Sage People allows for internal communications, including documents and Pulse surveys, to be made visible to certain policies tailoring what is communicated to the relevant audiences.

 

Charlotte Edwards, HRIS consultant for the Tugela People professional services team. Read more.This article has been written by Charlotte Edwards, a senior HRIS consultant for the Tugela People professional services team. Charlotte has over 15 years of experience in People Planning and HR Operations within management consulting and global financial services. Charlotte enjoys working with clients to understand their requirements and how they can achieve them together.

 

For more information on any of the information presented in this article,  or for guidance on how to set up any of these features in your Sage People org, please contact us on tel +44(0)1908 030360 or email: info@tugelapeople.com. Alternatively, complete the ‘Get in touch’ form and a member of our team will be in contact with you.

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