It’s been a very long and stressful 18 months or more. It’s been challenging to keep your company running while employees were working remotely, or in a hybrid setting, or while clients and customers shifted their operating expenses. Everything has changed.

But things are starting, slowly, to stabilize. Vaccines are available for those who want to take them. Local ordinances are relaxing as it pertains to distancing and masking. It might be time to try and get things back to something resembling normal.

Unsure how to do that or what the best practices are for bringing employees back? We can help — and it starts with onboarding.

Onboarding usually only applies to new hires, but in this shifting world, it can be applied to employees making the return to the office as well (and at every level).

Here are some topics to consider as you prepare to re-onboard your team.

1. Talk to your team.

Before putting anything in place, set aside time to talk with your employees. Find out how they’re feeling, what they’re concerned about, what makes them anxious. You might find that for every person who is hesitant to return, there’s another eager to come back. This might be time-consuming, but it shows compassion and consideration, two things that were needed desperately in the early days of the pandemic and are still appreciated now.

2. Where are people working?

This is a big one. If your company was 100% onsite pre-pandemic, but made arrangements to allow for remote working during the pandemic, consider what worked and what didn’t. Think about which positions absolutely need to be in-person and which ones could be fully remote or hybrid. Consider whether there’s a policy that would be fair to those people who have to work onsite and those who can have more flexibility. This might be challenging, but you’ve been living in this world since spring 2020.

3. Safety first.

Review your municipality’s health guidance and requirements if the time has come to bring people back onsite. A six-foot social distance barrier might not be required anymore, but adding hand sanitizing stations could help your employees feel a little more protected. Can desks be spaced out to provide additional breathing room? Is your ventilation system up to code? Workers who don’t feel protected and safe at the office will not be as productive as those who do.

4. How are people communicating?

Here’s another instance of looking backward to move forward. What tools were put in place out of necessity, and quickly that didn’t work as well as you’d like? Which ones excelled and helped ease some of the stress? If you’re going to adopt a remote or hybrid policy — and research suggests more than half of U.S.-based companies will be moving in this direction in the near future — this is the time to throw out what was holding your company back from being as productive as possible.

5. Reconsider employee engagement.

Beyond how your team communicates regularly, how do your employees connect with each other as a whole? Do they feel like part of the same team, working together toward a common goal, or is there a sense of isolation? Zoom exhaustion is a genuine phenomenon — is it occasionally bring people together for safely organized in-person events to help them reconnect? They need to reconnect with the company, and their managers, as well.

This is a brand-new territory for everyone. We haven’t been here before, and no one’s done it. Everyone is learning together. There will be bumps in the road, but your company has already navigated some pretty big ones since March 2020. You can do it!

Connect with Davis Staffing

If the pandemic created some open positions that now need to be filled, contact Davis Staffing. We have excellent candidates with the experience and skills you’re looking for who are ready to get back to work. Call Davis Staffing today, and let’s get started.