Reluctant Returners: Webinar Summary

Participants on this webinar were anything but reluctant – it proved to be a topical subject matter with lots of questions and response to our poll.

The poll revealed that this is a concern to many, the view that there are people reluctant to return to the workplace, preferring to work from home, even if operationally this is not ideal.  The main reason given was related to Covid 19 and health concerns around the virus.

So how do we deal with this?  If the virus is omnipresent in our community, what should we do?  And how do we manage the messages coming from the media stir versus the political rhetoric?  What is real and what is perceived and how do we tell the difference?

There are no easy answers and no rule book to follow.  And you might not get it right but that is not a reason to have some contingencies and strategies to follow.

  • Corporate communication to all to get across key messages and avoid the us and them scenarios
  • More tailored communication for specific teams or groups of people
  • Seek to build trust – trust in the environment that employees will return to and will seek to protect; trust in the culture that will allow people to share how they are feeling
  • Be flexible in your plans – this is an unknown plan and it will meander a different path following different sets of circumstances driven by Test and Trace; Autumn Spikes; Targeted isolation – all circumstances that you will need to react and respond.  No plan ever survives contact with the enemy!
  • There may be genuine health related reasons preventing returners which need to be managed appropriately
  • Ask the right questions – seek to find out how employees are feeling about coming back to work and the workplace (use the questionnaire available from Gravitate HR)
  • Be prepared that you may need to take difficult decisions
  • The employment relationship is described by the contract of employment and would determine whether there had been a breach of contract (either way).  However government guidelines would need to be taken into consideration to determine reasonableness.

At the end of the day, every business is unique and different and every plan should reflect the needs of the organisation.  What is right for your business;  your people and what you need to do to survive and move forward.

If you need a sounding board to discuss your circumstances and appropriate strategies for you to follow, please contact Gravitate HR, via your account manager or on 0131 225 7458.

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