How To Motivate Your Returning Teams

How To Motivate Your Returning Teams

In the last 18 months, the world and the workplace as we knew has been completely turned upside down. When Covid-19 hit, and national lockdowns announced, managers had to step up. They had to implement and support employees working from home and find ways to bring their teams together, even though they were physically apart. Now, as the world returns to something that resembles the normal we once knew, employees are finally able to return to the office. The challenge today is to make sure that your office environment is one that your team is happy to return to.

Across all industries, there are mixed emotions from employees about the return to the office. Some are excited, and others are a little more apprehensive. However, working with your employees to identify their key pain points can lay the path for a smoother transition back to work. Here are our top tips for motivating your returning teams when they re-enter the workplace:

1.     Have a plan

If you haven’t already done so, put together some guidance on what the return to work will look like for your team. For example, let them know how often they are expected to be in the office. You may opt for a gradual return rather than everyone back full time in one go. Make sure this information is available and discussed before you expect them to return to work.

You should also provide guidance on office etiquette. Your employees are likely to have different comfort levels when it comes to social distancing and socialising, so laying out some guidance will make those apprehensive employees feel a little more comfortable.

2.     Champion workplace flexibility

One of the significant challenges of returning to work is reintroducing workplace rules and regulations and the fixed 9-5 schedule. Employees are concerned about losing the precious time they had for themselves and with their families while home working. By adopting a culture of flexible working, you will increase morale amongst existing employees. When it comes to recruiting fresh talent, having a flexible working culture is a valuable benefit.

3.     Keep Communicating

You’ve had to learn to work as a team remotely, and you’ve likely had to embrace a range of digital communication tools such as video conferencing, group messaging and email to keep each other updated. Communication is indispensable for any team. In the run-up to the return to the office, it is vital to keep these lines of communication open. Your team will likely welcome a face-to-face meeting with co-workers after such a long period apart, and it will provide an opportunity to bond through shared experiences. 

The return to the office is never going to be an easy transition. But communicating and offering your staff flexibility will help ease any uncertain feelings around the changes ahead. As well as being available and listening to your team’s concerns, you will gain their trust and pave the way for a successful return to the office.

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