Why getting your employees back to the workplace is like crisis negotiation.

There has been a lot of coverage around the process and logistics of arranging for employees to return to the workplace, whether it be after furlough or for those working from home.

As part of this employers will have a ‘comms plan’ which will typically focus on the practical elements of what employees need to return. The plans are likely to be detailed and thoughtful, but most likely there won’t be as much focus on the impact that the language you use will have on your employees’ willingness to come back to work.

The reason this matters enormously was brought home to me last weekend.

Watch the vlog here:

A survey in the Sunday Times showed that 64% of people did not want to go back to their workplaces – the reluctant returners. This is a complex issue and an urgent challenge.

Elizabeth Stokoe, is a professor of Social Interaction at Loughborough University and is a leading authority on effective communication. I highly recommend any of her You Tube videos on conversational analysis – they are absolutely fascinating.

But more importantly, for us anyway, Liz has kindly agreed to share her expertise on how HR and Talent Leaders can find the right language to help their reluctant returners get more comfortable about coming back to work.

She’ll be doing this on a webinar on 25th August
Now just to be clear, this isn’t an exercise in coercion, it’s about helping employees to create the space to make their own decision to return to work.

And again, this is important because it is better to allow people to take slightly longer to return but be happy to do so, than to compel them to return and end up potentially making a stressful situation worse and possibly even impacting longer term mental health.

We will, of course, be covering the practical issues of re-boarding on our webinar and Hugh Fordham, the CEO of Hollaroo will be sharing some great insight on re-boarding best practice. He has also prepared a very helpful info graphic which you will find in the link to this post.

The other striking piece of research I saw this week was a new study by Deloitte which shows the top concerns for employers right now are well-being and belonging.

From our perspective, 2 of the 11 areas of our Talent Acquisition benchmark programme – employment flexibility and onboarding –
help employers get a better sense of how effective they are in these areas and what you can do to improve. The link to the programme is also in the post.

It’s really important we get as many people back to work as possible and the happier they are to come back, the more productive they’ll be. The link to the re-boarding webinar is in this post and because we expect it to be especially popular, we will prioritise our benchmark participants so if you’re thinking about registering, now is the time to get involved.

Benchmark Programme
Webinar Registration
Hugh Fordham, Hollaroo Infographic

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