Furlough fever is upon us, and with half of your team working and half on furlough, it could pose a challenge for when all are due to return to work. Although receiving 80% of pay and not working, your furloughed team may be feeling anxious, uncertain and detached. How can you overcome this and create a seamless return? Ultimately, how you treat your furloughed team whilst they are off will be the basis upon which you can reintegrate them back into the workforce. We’ve provided some tips below:
1. Ensure that whilst they are on furlough, you have regular touch points with your team. Regular team socials (zoom team drinks!), 121s with their managers weekly or twice weekly so they can keep updated with what’s happening in the business and weekly training including your non furloughed team is also a great way to keep everybody connected and camaraderie high.
2. Wellbeing checks with your people is also really important, even a 10 minute weekly check-in will help and will allow you to support your team even if they’re not in work.
3. Send them little gifts once a month just to let them know you are thinking of them.
4. Prepare a summary of results and strategy at their level ready to present to them on their return, maybe 5 things of importance that have happened or that the business has achieved each month? Let them know what’s been happening, so they don’t feel they’ve missed out.
5. On the return, ascertain whether they are comfortable working from home, lay out what the structure of working will be and establish if they have all the tools they need.
6. Involve them – perhaps do a brainstorm with them on strategy moving forwards, or ask them what they think is important for them to feel part of the future?
7. When they do return, a return to work meeting with each person is paramount. Redefine together what good looks like in their role, and what success looks and feels like in this post pandemic working environment.
8. Define the strategy of your organisation for your team, as a team, and as a business for everyone! This is a great way to integrate everyone together again, and to start people working together again.
9. Stay close early on and ensure you have follow up meetings so they feel supported.
10. Remember, you’ve all been through this together whether on furlough or working, so make no assumptions of people’s mindsets, ask questions, listen, talk and support.
If you’d like further tips or advice, please feel free to reach out to the Maine Group – we’d love to help!
Written by : The Maine Group