Addressing the Challenges Facing Employees Post-Covid-19
With the way we work having changed in a matter of months, individuals have been left to ponder what the new world of work will look like.
The health crisis will have impacted every employee in a different way, causing their experience and response to this change and uncertainty to also be unique. They may be feeling disconnected from the organisation, questioning the business’ purpose and goals, or even be concerned about their safety upon returning to the office.
In response to this, Right Management has launched a new solution to help individuals restart in a smart way that allows them to understand the ‘new normal’ and perform at their best.
The challenges facing individuals returning to the office
The SmartRestart programme has been created to help individuals understand their place within their organisation, reconnect with their purpose and comprehend the expectations placed upon them. Through our research, we’ve identified some of the most common challenges individuals will face and how they can be overcome.
Employees will be returning to the work environment following what will likely have been a very emotional experience; with 43% of surveyed workers saying their general mental health worsened during the pandemic. Isolation, loneliness, self-doubt and fear are all emotions that an employee might have felt at any given time during COVID-19, and so they’ll need their organisations to help normalise these feelings and address their emotional experience.
While it is partly down to the employees to remain employable and return to work with a positive attitude, managers and leaders will have the added responsibility of ensuring their colleagues’ feelings are being effectively managed. Whether that’s by making the time for frank and honest conversations with their teams, or offering some flexibility around returning to work – a manager’s will be vital in reengaging employees.
Through doing so, business leaders can effectively address any worries or concerns that their teams might have and ensure that every employee returns to work feeling confident and ready to contribute towards future business success.
The ‘new normal’ will without doubt present the ‘unknown’ for a lot of people, meaning individuals and teams will be returning to work with many questions that managers and business leaders will then need to answer. Providing a line of frequent, open communication will enable leaders to communicate effectively with their employees and engage in meaningful conversations.
“There has to be an ongoing discussion between leaders and employees to encourage buy-in from all staff.” – Nina Pagon, Consultant, Right Management UK
Having these conversations will be crucial to building positive and productive relationships. If everybody understands what is being asked of them, who they can go to for support and how they can support their colleagues, then employees and teams will be able to work more efficiently and effectively. This in turn will generate higher performance levels in individuals and improve the overall effectiveness of the organisation and its day-to-day operations.
Individuals and teams will also be met with challenging performance goals and new expectations upon returning to the office. With 22.8% of organisations across surveyed industries reporting a temporary closure of cease of trading due to the pandemic, many organisations need to increase output following this sustained period of operating below optimal capacity – and employees will be expected to contribute towards improving business performance.
In order to do so, individuals and teams will need to be effectively briefed by their managers and leaders on what is expected of them. Again, communication will be key so that everyone is working towards the same goals and importantly, understands why they’re doing so –understanding why the business is looking to move in a certain direction will help ensure employees reconnect with their purpose, the organisation and their managers and colleagues.
Therefore, by setting employees new targets and goals, managers and leaders can empower their teams to strive for improved performance and success levels and ensure that they return to work feeling reengaged and motivated to generate revenue and custom for their organisation.
What other challenges might individuals and teams face upon organisational restart?
Managers and individuals will face a number of challenges when their organisations restart, and must work together in order to overcome them. For more information on Right Management’s new SmartRestart solution, watch our free webinar here.