Well, we’re here.  A new year, a new normal.  COVID-19 has reshaped the workforce and in turn, reshaped the HR Department.  For the past ten months we’ve talked about how the pandemic has impacted not just where we work, but how we conduct our business and manage the employee work/life balance.

Since the release of the vaccine, everyone is starting to feel a little more optimistic about the coming months.  Some of our clients that have been working remotely since last March are looking forward to getting everyone back in the office.  What does that look like?

We don’t pretend to have that answer for you.  There is one person that may be able to provide direction and that’s the employee. 

Gain some clarity.

If you haven’t begun the process of talking about what the office will look like post-pandemic, start now!  This is the time to schedule the conversation as part of your staff meetings.  If you want answers on how to reshape the workplace, ask team members or survey them.  Both methods can provide insight on what their vision of “coming back to work” should look like.  Here are a few questions to consider:

HR Elements can help as an outside resource for employees to openly share ideas or concerns.

Use the information.

Leverage employee feedback in decision-making.  Be prepared to take action with the information you gather and do this with an open mind.  You may not be able to act on every suggestion you receive and that’s okay. You have to strike the balance of what will work for the entire team in a way that benefits the business. Whatever actions you take, communicate the changes clearly, edit the employee handbook if necessary and have new policies in writing.

Be a transformation driver.

The pandemic has companies re-establishing a work culture that is human-centric.  If a more flexible workforce and a continuation of remote work remains in your future, continue to be the driver of your culture.  This is easy to do if you’re intentional.  A successful culture is one that is planned yet moves along organically due to the structures and leadership in place.  HR Elements can help create the parameters and guidance for a healthy and productive culture.

The pandemic has forced all of us to transform and now companies will be asking employees to transform again.  Expect some stress and count on a readjustment period.  HR Elements is a partner that will help position you for success during this transformation period.