By Rhoda McVeigh, Consulting Services Director at KMA

As you think about bringing your team back into the workplace, either full time or in some hybrid arrangement, here are some things to consider for a smooth transition.

Communication

  • Develop a communication plan for employees’ return-to-work and changes to policies and practices.
  • Determine how company-wide staff meetings will be conducted.
  • Review and update processes for infection control and identifying and notifying the workforce of possible communicable disease exposure.
  • Recognize the possibility of increased union-organizing activity and prepare communications in response.
  • Continue increased cadence and transparent content of employee communication begun during the Pandemic.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Revise compensation strategies to reflect the current environment and hybrid workplaces.
  • Address leave policies to encourage employees to take time off when sick and utilize vacation or PTO including mandated benefits.
  • Continue to plan for and support employees with caregiving responsibilities (child or elder care) that interfere with the employee’s ability to work.
  • Revise employee benefit plans to reflect allowable election changes.
  • Consider “flexibility” a benefit and how to leverage it with your workforce.
  • Notify employees of changes to benefit plans and extended COBRA deadlines.

Staffing

  • Review and update selection and hiring procedures for social distancing and remote processes.
  • Develop upskilling/reskilling strategies to improve retention and increase internal job mobility.
  • Continue to evaluate and implement procedures for onboarding remote employees.
  • Update layoff and recall policies for fluctuating staffing needs.
  • Review recall procedures to ensure a fair and lawful process.

Employee Relations

  • Address bullying behavior at work to avoid claims of a hostile work environment and or decreased employee morale.
  • Anticipate the potential for workplace violence incidents due to increased stress and anxiety amongst employees.
  • Prepare to respond to requests for reasonable accommodation from employees in high-risk categories including vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
  • Rethink employee recognition programs for the hybrid workplace.

Remote Work

  • Continue to train employees on new technologies for remote/distanced work.
  • Ensure continual communication of remote workplace performance and behavioral expectations.
  • Train supervisors on managing remote workers.
  • Implement employee engagement strategies and company culture involvement for remote workers.
  • Review and update practices for handling HR issues such as investigations/complaints and terminations remotely.

 If you need additional guidance on how to structure your workplace, reach out to us at info@kmahr.com!