21 Jul Reentering the Workforce After COVID-19
Our nation and workplace will never be the same in a post COVID-19 world. No matter where you work, every business has been greatly affected in many ways. It can be challenging to cope with all the changes. Some states have lessened their restrictions on business operations, and many employees are beginning to reenter the workforce. We want to give you a plan for your team reentering the workforce after working from home or maybe returning from furlough. The anxiety and stress could be high when returning to your workplace. We are here to help make that process as simple and smooth as possible. Here are some helpful ways to create a safe environment as work resumes.
The anxiety and stress could be high when returning to your workplace. We are here to help make that process as simple and smooth as possible.
Managing On-site Work
It may take some time to create a sense of normalcy as people begin reentering the workforce, and that’s to be expected for the time in which we are living. Whether all of your team has returned to work or only some have, try to do your best to create the same routine as before for your employees. This will help ease employees back into their roles and create normalcy again. A normal routine can provide your employees with much needed stability.
To improve how your business copes with COVID-19, there likely will be adjustments that need to be made by your management team and/or employees. If you haven’t already, come up with a cleaning/disinfecting process. Stick to six-feet social distancing, and wear face masks if suggested or required by your state. Bring your management team together and come up with these new protocols, goals, and a vision for how you will adjust. A plan will also ease your anxiety and keep your eyes on the goal, which is running a successful business for your customers.
The New Work/Life Balance
It’s important to recognize that every employee is at a different point psychologically and emotionally with their reaction to COVID-19. With COVID, the work/life balance at home can be overwhelming. With kids home for longer hours and increased financial pressure, your employees could be experiencing increased stress. Here are some tips to help your employees during this work transition and ease them back into reentering the workforce:
- Stress management
- Create more break time during work
- Group activities (get outside, games, coffee break, etc.)
- Create goals/vision for this season
- Extend grace with family matters
- Train your management team to be able to spot employees who are struggling
- Set clear expectations at your workplace
- Be flexible and create space for your employees’ feedback
Supporting Your Staff during Reentry
Your support means everything to your employees as they begin reentering the workforce. There are mixed emotions and hurdles that we all are overcoming. Regular check-ins are a great way to show your staff that you care and to keep the work environment productive. As an employer, it’s also important to keep an eye on your own personal mental health. We all have our own struggles to deal with, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Here are some other practical ways to support your team when reentry happens.
- Use consistent communication with your management team for creating a plan for reentry.
- Get feedback from your employees.
- Be mindful that there may be permanent changes to your workplace, and have an open dialogue with your employees about this.
- Safety first: Follow CDC guidance; communicate with state and local health officials.
- Remind yourself that everyone is at their own unique point psychologically and emotionally in their process with COVID-19.
- Promote and encourage the use of EAP services to your team.
- Suggest self-care and reaching out to family and friends for support.
How an EAP Can Help
It’s hard to conceptualize a more opportune time for your company to partner with an EAP service. It offers a place for your employees to get confidential assistance with mental health matters, including counseling that they may need during this challenging time. There are five stages of grief we wanted to highlight:
- Denial: “This is not as bad as they are making it out to be.”
- Anger: “I hate that I can’t do what I used to do.”
- Bargaining: “Maybe I can break social distancing today. I can take the chance.” (Psychology delays our new reality.)
- Depression: Realizing that this is not going away. We need a vaccine.
- Acceptance: Accepting our new reality. Emotionally at peace.
Our psychological reaction to quarantine can also be viewed through Dr. Kimberly Norris’s Five Stages of Isolation. Watch the video below to learn more.
Individuals all over the world are also facing many other difficulties, including parenting challenges, setting work boundaries, feelings of loneliness or isolation, and more. With an EAP like Care Plus Solutions, you can offer your employees counseling, financial services, work/life solutions, and more. An EAP is a great tool for employers who want to further help employees who are struggling and keep the workplace healthy and productive. We hope this blog has given you a better understanding of how to help employees with reentering the workforce during COVID-19. Should you have further concerns or questions, please call us at 800-832-8902 for a confidential management consult.
Care Plus Solutions is America’s first EAP and is headquartered in New York and has offices in New Jersey. Over the course of the company’s 46 year history, their brand has remained firmly rooted in the rich history of the EAP field, never losing sight of the fundamental purpose of the EAP; delivering personal and quality services to those in need. It is fair to say that Care Plus Solutions is the gold standard in the field of Employee Assistance.
The psychological stages of isolation revealed – as Australians enter the final ‘reunion’ phase and find they actually MISS extended time at home (2020). https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8306145/Australian-psychologist-reveals-reunion-phase-emerging-isolation.html