COVID-19, a word most of us had never heard 6 months ago, that has now impacted everybody from businesses to families alike, in some way shape or form.
In the business world, tough decisions have had to be made and for many CEOs, worst-case scenarios have become harsh realities.
Whilst some businesses are coming out of this global crisis hailed as Covid-19 heroes (e.g Highstreet retailer Timpsons), others (unfortunately for them) are being pointed out as the villains, heavily criticised for their response. These include Wetherspoons’ boss Tim Martin, who suggested his laid off staff should ‘go get a job in Tesco’ and billionaire Richard Branson, who suggested his staff take 8 weeks unpaid leave.
Let’s face it. You don’t want to come out of this situation as a villain. How well you handle it will determine how quickly you can bounce back as a business, once things get back to a state of normality.
Here are some things you could be doing to limit the damage to your bounce back...
Communicate with your furloughed workers
In the case that you have had to furlough workers, keep them in the know. Plan regular catch-ups with your team to ensure they are aware of what’s happening in the business and when their furlough status may change.
It’s also a great way to keep your employees engaged with the organisation, something that will be key in motivating a successful bounce back once things begin to return to normality.
Don’t be ‘that’ guy. Support your laid off staff!
In some cases, there was no other option but to make staff redundant. For those who have been faced with making the crippling decision to let staff go, there’s still so much you can do to support those staff, to make sure they’ve got the tools they need to hit the ground running when it comes to securing a new position.
Engaging in an outplacement service is a great way to do this. Services like these will help your staff by prepping them for the job market and making sure they’re equipped to secure a new role quickly after redundancy.
Plan for your employee’s safe return to work
As we move into the next step in the government’s COVID exit strategy, we’re nearing a time when more and more workers will be able to return to work. Make sure you've planned for this as a business. Your employees need to be able to return to work, safe in the knowledge that their workplace is fully set up with the necessary guidelines in place. A mistake employers could make at this time would be to force reluctant employees back to work, into an environment that they don’t feel safe in.
Don’t make your employees come back to work unless it’s safe for them to do so.
Find out all the guidance you need to make your workplace safe in the presence of Covid-19 here.
What methods are you embracing to smoothen your transition back into business as usual? We'd love to hear from you. Leave your comments below.