How to Prepare Staff to Return to the Workplace in 2022

Changes to lockdown restrictions have had a significant impact on the public sector.

As lockdown measures change and organisations look to gradually reopen, employers need to plan how they can return to the workplace in a way that cares for their people. 

Preparing staff to return to the workplace in 2022

From keeping up-to-date with the latest news to undergoing preparation training, here’s how to get started.

Keep Up-to-Date With Government Guidelines

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on how we all work. Organisations have had to manage and lead staff while working remotely. The Government has emphasised the relaxation of lockdown measures and any return to normal working life will be on a phased basis. You’ll have obligations to ensure the health and safety of both your employees and visitors to your premises. 

For organisations who decide to return to the workplace, employers must consider detailed risk management approaches to safeguard employees' health and minimise the risk of infection. Employers must continue to base any plans for returning to the workplace on up-to-date Government and public health guidance.

Re-Induction Process for Return

It’ll become increasingly important to encourage and support every manager to have one-to-one return meetings with every employee, with a key focus on health, safety and wellbeing. 

Managers need to have a sensitive and open discussion with every individual and discuss any adjustments and ongoing support to facilitate a successful return to the workplace. 

Devise a Return to Work Plan

To get ahead and ensure readiness for staff returning to work, employers need to engage early on with their stakeholders to devise a plan. It should also include those individuals responsible for health and safety, facilities and HR.

Given the priority for every business is managing a safe return to the workplace for staff, it’s going to become vital to work in close collaboration with your health and safety and occupational health teams wherever possible.

Continuing to monitor the effectiveness of the policies and procedures you have developed is necessary, so is revising them from time to time. Regular surveys where staff can make suggestions for improvements and/or raise concerns is advisable.

Foster Inclusive Culture 

Most importantly, it’ll be essential for every employer to ensure the organisation culture is inclusive. Every employee needs to feel they’re returning to a supportive and caring environment.

The pandemic has had an impact across the workforce in many ways, as different groups of employees will have been affected in diverse ways according to their job role and individual circumstances. 

The fluctuating nature of people’s work, personal experiences and the challenging nature of the ever-changing restrictions means there could be potential for some negative feelings.

Therefore, it’s important that organisations cultivate an inclusive working environment that is sensitive to any underlying tensions. Communication with your staff is key. Keeping people informed of what your business is doing – whether it’s good or bad news - will give them some degree of security in very uncertain times. 

Knowing they are valued and supported by their employer – and that you continue to prioritise their health and safety will be pivotal to their wellbeing.

Get Prepared with our Training Courses

When planning and preparing your staff’s return to work, you’ll need to learn techniques to energise and motivate your staff before they do. View our range of Commercial and Organisational training courses to see how we can help you be prepared to welcome back staff into the office, or successfully onboard new employees remotely.