Return & Refocus: 7 steps for a new start as we embark on the ‘new normal’

Following the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic employees are now officially allowed to return to their usual place of work. And whether they are eager to do this or desperate to stay at home, it’s important as a business leader to respect that this is definitely a period of adjustment for everyone involved. Returning to any workplace will mean facing strict new safety measures, whilst working at home can make people feel lonely, cut off from their team and out of touch with the overall business culture.

What’s certain is that normal life has changed and so as we embrace this ‘new normal’ now is the perfect time to form some positive habits and move the business to the next level. By refocusing on the overall business vision and OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) as employees return, either from furlough or simply back to the workplace, this will revive enthusiasm and remind employees of the importance of their roles in achieving these business goals.

Back in January, you may have had ambitious growth plans for the year ahead, just seven months later you may be happy to have simply survived the pandemic while many other businesses haven’t been so fortunate. As a business leader you may need to amend your initial 2020 12-month vision to become more Covid-19 realistic. We suggest taking some thinking time out to revisit this initial vision and asses the true impact the pandemic has had on your business focus. Unfortunately, for most this is likely to be a negative effect. However, there are some business that will have experienced a positive boom - PPE suppliers I’d imagine! Once you’ve done this you’re ready to amend the business vision accordingly, considering where you would like to be in December this year and going forward into 2021.

Combining this refocus with the return of your teams to the workplace provides an excellent new start and could work perfectly to boost teams back into alignment, ensuring everyone is clear about the business goals.

Here are 7 steps to take when introducing people back to the workplace and refocusing on the business objectives:

  1. Communication: Keep employees safe and informed. Make remote workers fully aware of the new Covid-19 measures that have been made in the workplace before they rock up on their first day back so they know exactly what to expect. This will help make them feel safe and reduce anxiety knowing the correct measures have been taken
  2. Manage any resistance to change and support individual employees as they return to their working environment. Check out this blog specifically about managing change to keep people happy.
  3. Consider a blended return to work to re-introduce teams gradually. This will help avoid crowded work spaces and give people a chance to adapt to the new safety measures
  4. If possible, hold an internal business briefing session to welcome people back, socially distanced of course, and inform people of the new Covid adapted company vision that will be the focus for the remainder of this year. Bringing the team together initially will boost team spirit and provide an opportunity to get everyone excited about the new company vision
  5. Once you have created your objectives to help you achieve this vision as a business leader, these should then be cascaded out to your direct reports so they can start adapting their own objectives to align with yours.
  6. Encourage your direct reports to repeat this process with their teams to ensure full understanding of business goals and complete alignment across teams. Discover the 3 benefits of getting teams focused on the company’s shared goals here.
  7. Ensure you put a structured meeting plan in place, so employees feel supported during their return to work and going forward as they work towards achieving their new objectives.

For more help when introducing a new member of staff, check out our blog on forming disciplined habits for better results.

For those who continue to work from home, having a Reclaro 1-3-5® Action Plan in place will help the team to be super effective and aligned as they all work towards the same goals. If employees are reluctant to return to the office then as an employer surviving through Covid you need to be respectful of this. Reclaro® can help you achieve increased productivity and team alignment wherever their place of work. Everyone’s situation is different and so a certain degree of trust and empathy is required.

This is our advice so I hope you’ve found it helpful. If you’d like to know more about anything mentioned in this blog then don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Or if you’d like to find out how our amazing OKR software helps many businesses become more productive, more focused and more aligned, not to mention achieve outstanding business growth, then book a demo today!

Posted by Zoe Greensit

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