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Supporting your workforce as we adapt to a ‘new normal’

Businesses in the UK and across the world have been forced to adapt to a ‘new normal’. Some have gone completely remote, others have been required to establish social distancing measures within a physical workplace, and many a combination of the two.

The resulting changes can be disorienting for your workforce. There are certain measures you will need to take as employers to support your workforce as they adjust to new ways of working; both physically and emotionally.  Here is a helpful guide to support your people as they adapt to your ‘new normal’.

Be prepared

In a world where official advice is constantly changing, ‘being prepared’ for every possibility may seem impossible. But there are many things within your control.

If staff are shifting to remote working, make sure you have prepared the appropriate software suites, hardware and equipment for your team. It pays to be detailed here, even down to phones and computer chairs. This not only equips your team to get the job done, but also communicates a level of support and care, which will serve to boost team spirit and morale.

If teams are moving back into a physical workplace, it’s vital that you prepare adequate social distancing and safety measures ahead of their return. Ensure that all your teams are fully briefed and informed on all the measures that will affect them.

Be clear

Now more than ever, your staff are craving clear communication. Be as transparent as possible in discussions around changes to working patterns, returning to work and other important issues.

Remember that anxiety levels are higher than usual and your communications have the power to inspire and motivate. Honesty communicates value and trust to your team.

Be flexible

Work is not the only area affected by our ‘new normal’. Family life, education commitments and medical issues can all have an effect on staff availability and working patterns. Be as flexible as you’re able when working through these with your staff.

Consider individual cases, and remember than open and frank discussions early on will save misunderstanding and frustration later.

Be open 

Where people have had many changes thrust upon them, it’s important that leaders give their employees and teams the chance to express their thoughts, ideas and frustrations. Be open to listening to suggestions from your staff. In doing so you’ll help them feel more engaged and motivated to do their best work. 

Be positive

Your staff will be looking to you for a lead on how to respond and behave during this time. Choose positive modes of communication and don’t forget to celebrate victories and good news stories in your business.

This could be the time to make special efforts to recognise and reward staff for exemplary work or great results, all of which will serve to motivate your team.

We make PEOPLE your priority in your business. For help adapting your workforce to your ‘new normal’, download our FREE Return to Work guide for more invaluable practical tips.

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