5 Ways to Welcome and Engage Employees Returning to Work

Human Resources
Employee & Internal

No matter when or how you bring your employees back to the workplace during or after the pandemic, it will be different. Nothing will work the same, look the same, or feel the same. As humans, this is a lot of change. Change often equals stress, and stress can be a productivity killer. No business can afford to kill productivity right now. You should welcome and engage your employees at this critical time.

So what can you do? More than you think. Most of it requires communication. Lots and lots of consistent communication and not just about the task lists. It helps if you have open, honest communication about everything, from the ability to keep your business running to how to get to the bathroom – safely.

Here are five ideas for welcoming and engaging your employees back at the office. Keep in mind your goal is to get your staff comfortable, back to work, and focus on your goals as efficiently as possible.

Welcome and Engage Tip #1: Promote on-time arrival with commuter gas cards or transportation passes.

Let’s face it, it’s easier to open a laptop after you finish breakfast than to get in a car or on a train 100% ready for the day. After you communicate your office safety plan, including what the first day will be like, provide a commuter bonus offer. Keep in mind that your staff may not have the money required to get back to work, especially if furloughs were involved. Make it easy for them to get back in the routine and communicate your company’s on-time arrival commitment.

Tip #2: Maintain motivation with a company-paid lunch on Mondays.

Not only does this save workers preparation or travel time during work, but it can also help reduce virus exposure to your workforce by keeping staff on-site. For some workers, it may also supplement meal budgets that were stretched too thin during time away from work.

Welcome and Engage Tip #3: Reward work getting done on time by allowing workers to leave two hours early, once a week.

This incentive will help employees focus on a goal they love, and you benefit from it. It also provides opportunities to review workflow for obsolete tasks and re-balance workloads accordingly. 

Tip #4: Promote a culture of COVID-19 safety and reward employee groups that exemplify it.

Creating a no-judgment, safety-first policy can help you diffuse differing opinions. Consider including an anonymous reporting plan and random rotations of remote work to allow staff who report early symptoms to maintain anonymity while isolated for safety. This anonymous communication promotes safe choices in employee wellness reporting because it reduces gossip and judgment among staff. Learn more in this Harvard Business Review article.

Welcome and Engage Tip #5: Promote a company-wide sales culture by rewarding sales leads from anyone in your organization.

This idea can single-handedly get your employees thinking and engaged in your primary goal to rebuild or grow your company. Just make sure the rewards promote ethical sales – unchecked sales can have the opposite effect long-term.

You can see samples of these ideas created for digital signage by watching the webinar, Re-Engaging Employees with Surprise and Delight

Keep in mind that no matter what you communicate or when, using digital signage to remind, update, and report results can help re-engage and reach your company goals as a team.

Ready to reinvigorate and engage your team with visual messaging? Schedule a 15-minute consultation today!

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