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We are all inundated with thousands of articles about returning to the workplace – with a lot of considerations and concerns, and not a lot of solution-oriented strategies.
For key decision-makers, it’s incredibly overwhelming, and for staff, it’s incredibly important to try and understand what’s coming next, in a new unknown of the next evolution.
As experts in workplace design, and change management, we’ve created a list of the top three things you need to do to return to the office successfully – that come at zero cost to your company.
Remember, returning to the office is like a diet – if there was one solution that worked, everyone would be doing it. It’s time to focus inward, not outward, as you use these exclusive tips to create your customized strategy.
1. Communicate your “Why”, with compassion – and clarity.
The “Why” behind the “What” of returning to the office is the most important part of the conversation that’s shared with staff. Real success in this comes from vulnerable communication – being honest about the reasons why the return to office will support the success of your company. It’s also important to communicate with compassion, understanding this is a high-touch, emotional, transition for some employees, particularly those that gravitate towards introverted tendencies, or carry remaining fear of COVID.
The reasons for your company’s “Why” might be:
2. Create a “Feedback Funnel”.
Surveys can be tired in today’s world of virtual fatigue, and while they can provide anonymity, they also lack human connection – a key driver for a successful workplace reentry strategy. Instead, opt for “Feedback Funnel” opportunities with your staff to provide in person platforms for conversation and considerations, based on the challenges and changes they’re dealing with.
Ideas for this include:
3. The Well-Being of Your Company Relies on the Health of It All
Health isn’t exclusive to physical, and mental, attributions – it applies to financial, social, intellectual, and even spiritual components of your company. By making the well-being of your company a collective goal shared by all, with attention on an individual level, you’ll find your team championing for the same thing.
The segmentation of an employee is a thing of the past – and life post-pandemic will no longer recognize people as their professional life and their personal life. Instead, successful workplaces will recognize their employees as a whole human, creating a space for them to show up as their full selves.
For successful reentry, that means using the “Feedback Funnel” to see what most energizes employees about the way they can support the company, and where they feel most fulfilled in their workdays – and then creating opportunities for them to thrive.
It also means maintaining flexibility to provide the fluidity of the merge of work and life that we’ve become accustomed to in the last year. For MA, it means communicating expectations of being in the physical office for a portion of the week, while still providing opportunities for remote work and flexible hours, recognizing this evolution and adaptation.
As we move through this time, it’s important to remember that strategy is important, but execution is everything. Change management is a task that deserves prioritization and often manifests as a short-term investment for a long-term gain.
If you’re interested in learning more about the process of change management, return to work assimilation or how to best activate your space to facilitate success, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com to continue the conversation. Together, we can figure out ways to turn your obstacles into opportunities.