At this hour of great need ensure that your employees understand well about the workplace in terms of its criticality & severity from overall business & safety perspective upon return. Some employees may expect nothing is going to change, while others will assume everything or up to a large extent will be different. Communicating employees and reminding them will ease their anxiety that these changes are designed to help keep them safe.
A well planned and orchestrated change management communications strategy for the organization will help fortify a successful return. It should address the details of the transition anticipating employee questions, anxieties and concerns. Since we all know that for very effective results, a clear communication system has always worked & helped employees understand better to aim towards a common objective.
HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE?
First & foremost is an early or frequent communication as appropriate that makes employee understand the current changes that have been designed to make the workplace safe & healthy. While communication one should also encourage employees to participate and comply with new changes by helping them with appropriate training programs to adopt new work techniques. Once it is done successfully, do not forget to reward the best & successful performance in conjunction with implemented new practices.
To make it all the more an effective communication, you need to target the type of audience along with its mode & segment. Consider using a wide range of communication channels and materials such as:- E mails, employee intranet portals, text messages, formal letters, videos, virtual live events, posters/digital displays (after workplace return) and others. While communicating ensure that all your communications to all segment should revolve around or based on:-
- The purpose behind resuming the workplace again
- Parameters of safety & security taken for employees after taking all precautions as per government guidelines as well
- Commutation guidelines
- Synchronization with building management on entry/exit, safety & security parameters upon return
- Covid-19 protocol to be followed at workplace
- Medical aid & emergency guidelines
- Changes to the work environment i.e. relocation of desks, shift timings etc.
- Amendments to internal and external meeting protocols, hosting of client events, and visitor access etc.
- What will be available or supplied, especially food and beverages & What will not be provided, e.g., utensils, crockery, glassware, cups, etc.
- Sanitization requirements/fulfillment
- Bringing laptops at workplace including any other equipment & their sanitization
Since everything is going to be transformed thus all relevant policies & work practices also need a change as policies are very much important in setting the expectation for employees. Although many organizations have provided relaxation in some of their internal policies especially related to office timings, WFH, BCP, flexible shift schedules etc thus kindly consider the important policies those are required to be changed as per new & revised organizational framework. From the employees perspective, the policies to be treated as LIVE DOCUMENT as in case of any change, it should be considered as new norm. Let us talk about some important policies that should require change on an immediate basis:-
- Work/office resumption policy: This should talk about employee screening, incoming material screening, various protocols to be followed at workplace, WFH etc.
- Guest & Visitors policy: This should focus on type of access given to whom, access restrictions especially of secured areas, meeting confirmation from the employee while exiting the office etc.
- Employee travel policy: It should primarily focus on when employee should return to work, under WFH option travelling back to office etc.
- Employee work safety policy: It should revolve around health screening & its reporting, COVID rapid action task force to be formed to handle communications related to any Covid emergency, all communication & escalation protocols etc.
Communicating the importance of company policies, including any recent updates, and how they map back to the organization’s vision will be critical in establishing a climate of employee awareness and compliance thus be honest in all your communications to have unified & crystal clear results.
“CLEAR COMMUNICATION LEADS TO CLEAR STIMULATION”