HOW VOLUNTEERING CAN HELP YOUR JOB SEARCH

Undoubtedly, one of the greatest benefits of volunteerism is the difference you can make in the lives of others. Giving of your time, even just a couple of hours, can do wonders to help a nonprofit organization continue delivering on its mission, providing much-needed services, and improving the community at large.

Volunteering can be extremely beneficial to the volunteer as well. Of course, the most obvious benefit is self-worth. The experience provides a bit more purpose to your life, especially when you care deeply for the cause.

It also has a way of improving job prospects, as volunteer work can help you:

Develop marketable skills. By now, no one needs to tell you that volunteering is a great way to develop new skills — not to mention hone those skills you already have. But what you may not know is how volunteerism can provide you with the soft skills that many employers now look for in candidates. Helping to organize a fundraiser, for example, can allow you to develop skills like project planning, time management, teamwork, and resource development. Helping to coordinate volunteer activities can further the development of organization, multi-tasking, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Broaden your professional network. With anywhere from 60% to 80% of jobs being found through personal relationships, networking is still your best option for securing full-time employment. No matter the role or its duties, your participation with the organization is connecting you with other professionals, and one of these professionals may just be able to connect you with an employer looking to fill a job opening.

Bridge any resume gaps. As recruiters, we can tell you that the first thing that comes to mind when seeing a gap in someone’s resume is, “What were you doing with your time?” Volunteering bridges that gap. It also shows that you’ve stayed active and involved in your professional life, even while looking for a job. In fact, people with volunteer experience are 27 percent more likely to find a job after being out of work than those without.

Gain insights on other careers. Volunteer work can give you the opportunity to explore different occupations. It also gives you a chance to check out different industries. You get to know the people, understand the job, and experience both the challenges and rewards first hand. If the work sparks your interest, you can always parlay it into a new career in an entirely new industry.

Illustrate your personal values to employers. Many companies are placing a greater emphasis on social responsibility, partly as a way to attract and retain employees. They now realize that employee fulfillment comes not just from the job itself but a company’s involvement with the community. Over time, this social responsibility becomes a part of company culture. With volunteer work on your resume, it helps show that you’re a cultural fit for the organization.

Build self-confidence. It’s hard to deny how much fulfillment you can get from volunteering your time. Think about it, you’re making a difference in at least one person’s life when you give of your time. But the experience also helps you feel useful and productive, both of which can go a long way to bolster your confidence — one of the top three traits most companies look for in a new hire.

Stand out in the job market. While an estimated 89% of professionals have volunteer experience, only 45% include it on their resumes. By highlighting your volunteer work, you’re better able to differentiate yourself from a large pool of candidates. You also help underscore your commitment to the community at large.

Though involvement with a nonprofit organization shouldn’t be “to get ahead,” it does have the added bonus of helping your career — all the while making a meaningful contribution to society. If you approach the experience with the effort of a 9-to-5 job, the return is really a win-win for all involved.

https://prostaff.com/job-seeker/career-resources/how-volunteering-can-help-your-job-search

ONLINE TRAINING AND ITS EFFECT ON EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY

Employee productivity can be a tricky goal. Managers and supervisors try on a regular basis with a variety of tools to gain increased performance and with varying success. However, all realize sooner or later that the same tool doesn’t work on a permanent basis, and many times conditions or the organization limit the ability to use other tools that would produce results. So what to do as an alternative?

Distance learning and e-learning are becoming more and more of a practical option for productivity improvement, particularly with training people in new skills sets and knowledge.

One of the big areas supervisors regularly complain about is ever-present to do things with less, including a budget. However, cut too deep, and employees walk away. On the other hand, promotions and pay can’t just be handed out like candy or no one takes it seriously in return for good work. So what is a supervisor to do? This is where training comes in.

With e-learning, the training concept and practice are extremely low cost, which already wins big points in efficiency versus gains. Second, recognized training provides employees a valuable skillset feather in their cap they can take anywhere. And the more the training is recognized objectively and independently, the more valuable it is considered by an employee. So, for example, a training class funded via a junior college program is going to have more weight value-wise than an internal training with a certificate of completion, mainly because the former is recognized independently by any employer or educational system.

1) Flexibility Makes It Easier to Balance Work and Training

E-learning offers the big benefit of maximum flexibility as well, particularly with scheduling when the training will occur. For example, if an office is dealing with a deadline crunch, the training can be deferred until such time that the pace can be continued again. Regular in-person training doesn’t work this way as most times a trainer has to be scheduled, paid by a time contract, and classroom resources need to be secured. Instead, with e-learning, all the materials and tools are digital and pre-recorded, which means they can be trained at any time that is convenient.

2) Improved Employee Retention

Being involved and committed to a training program improves employee retention, which also boosts productivity versus having to rehire and retrain people. One of the biggest losses in an organization is the Department of experienced personnel. However, if folks are invested in a training program they will initially stay out of the need to complete the program, and then they will likely stay longer out of a sense of obligation to pay back the training support. Both mean longer stability with the employee trained.

3) Engagement

Improved skillsets and training also allow employees to be far more engaged in their work, as long as management finds a way to utilize the new skillset after the training is completed. They find new meaning, new purpose, and usually stay longer due to personal interest. Where companies make a mistake in this respect is in providing valuable training to a person and then sending him or her back to the same old routine as before. What was the point? Even the employee feels cheated and useless.

4) Increased metrics

Finally, e-learning tools provide an excellent way to track skill set development in employees on a wide scale. How often have dollars been spent on training, but no one is quite sure what the agency or organization’s total skill training is? With e-learning, office population statistics can be easily gathered and tracked, providing an objective, legal way of determining training records for employees that avoid favoritism, avoids equal opportunity problems, and provides ready data on where the organization needs to increase training going forward.

HR departments should be considering e-learning software to improve employee workflow and productivity. There are clear reasons why it makes sense and why employees will respond positively to the resource when provided. Not doing so is only leaving money on the table and risking a greater loss of valuable employee retention.

https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/e-learning-productivity

5 WAYS EMPLOYEES CAN HELP LEAD THEIR COMPANY OUT OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses. Some companies have closed, some companies have transitioned to remote work and other companies are being pushed to their limits. The outbreak has forced organizations to change how they work, and successful companies are those in which their employees are playing an active role in managing the change. Here are five ways you can support your organization during the coronavirus outbreak:

1.     Adhere to government guidelines.

Work from home. Make sure tables and desks are at least six feet apart. Wear a mask. 

If you want your organization to survive, you need to take steps to ensure continuity of business operations and that revenue keeps coming in. This means you need to keep yourself healthy and your colleagues healthy. You have to keep your customers and clients healthy.

2.     Identify ways to save money.

The coronavirus has tightened people’s and organization’s belts. People’s instincts are to survive, and survival mode can impact cashflow. If your company has been hit economically, it has to save money to survive. If you want to demonstrate your leadership, propose ways you think could help save money. Think about your role and your duties and areas where you think costs can be reduced, however small and without compromising safety and quality. Leaders don’t just do the work, they recognize the financials behind the work.

3.     Find ways to be more productive.

Being more productive means saving money. That is, if you produce more than you normally would in the same amount of time, you can make more money in that timeframe.

Is there a step that is redundant? Can you automate the process? Could you optimize your usage of a shared technology platform? Could you streamline the process by having one person complete two tasks? This is a moment of change. Use it to question why things have to be done the way they always have been by asking yourself where things could be more efficient and identifying possible solutions.

Depending on the situation, you may or may not need permission to test a process you think could be more efficient. If you have complete control over how the project is carried out, don’t wait. Don’t waste time if you think you have a solution that can help your company work better.

4.     Promote your organization’s efforts online.

Sharing what your company is doing during the coronavirus pandemic can increase profits. If you work in the hospitality industry, share on LinkedIn how your company is taking the steps to adhere to government guidelines. Let the people in your network know about the efforts you are taking to make clients or customers safe. This will help people feel more comfortable and motivate them to frequent or patron the business.

If you work at a technology company, for example, that has donated money or supplies, post this. People value social and corporate responsibility and can sway them into buying your company’s services or products if they know that some of their money will support a good cause.

While your company may have a public relations department, there is no better public relations than employees being advocates for their company. If you have any doubts about needing permission to share information, check with your manager before posting.

5.     Be kind to your coworkers.

Ask your coworkers how their day is going. Avoid making quick judgments or accusations. The coronavirus outbreak has placed a lot of stress on people’s lives. Try not to add to the stress. 

Being kind to others strengthens bonds, something that people are yearning for under physical distancing guidelines. For your company to survive, you need the people to be in a healthy mental state that allows them to work productively and collaborate with others.

Crises are opportunities to step up, add value and demonstrate your leadership. Follow government guidelines, find ways to save money and time, showcase your company online and be supportive of your colleagues.

FIVE WAYS PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE MANAGE TIME DIFFERENTLY

We all know people who manage to get so much more done than the average. They are the high performers at work who have complex jobs with broad scopes of responsibility but manage to stay unflappable. They are the all-stars who excel at work and still stay involved with family, community or in an outside interest.

How do some people accomplish so much more in the same amount of time? What can you do to improve your own productivity? Productive people are not better people – they make better choices and smarter decisions about how their time is spent.

Here are five ways productive people manage time differently:

1 – Focus on what matters

Productive people are clear about their most important priorities – on the job and in their lives. Today’s work environment is busy for everyone. Rapid change is the norm. Too little time describes almost everyone’s regular experience. Productive people don’t try to do everything or even a lot of things by quantity, but they focus their time on quality – i.e., what will have the most impact.

You too should prioritize your list of everything you need to do in terms of what will have the most impact on your professional and personal goals. In this time of high unemployment, you may want to focus on shoring up your on-the-job performance. Or you may be going for a promotion, in which case, you want to align your priorities with what your manager and senior leaders prioritize.

2 – Stay focused despite distractions

Once you are clear about what matters, you still need to actually spend your time on these priorities. Productive people know how to stay focused despite distractions. There are many distractions in the workplace – meetings, interruptions by colleagues, another project or task that arises.

If you are already clear on your priorities but find it difficult to stay focused on them, block out time first thing in your day for your most important work. Distractions will have less time to build up first thing in the morning, and if you are pulled away, you have the rest of the day to make up the time. Or try changing your work environment to signal to yourself and others that you should not be disturbed.

3 – Course-correct when things go wrong

The best laid plans can still go wrong – there might be an urgent task that rightly takes you away from your priority work time. However, rather than just scrambling the rest of the day or week hoping to catch up, the productive person will take a pause and readjust the remaining time around the priorities. The block of time reserved for priority work will get moved to another sacred time. The busywork will be what gets postponed.

To keep on track, set visible metrics for your priorities so you can readily see where you are and how much catching up you need to do.

4 – Invest time in planning

That extra time to redo a rollout plan or to reschedule your day after an interruption is an investment. Productive people invest time in planning. They are disciplined enough to recognize that the time they use to plan is time they will get back and more by correctly identifying what needs to be done, when and how.

If your natural tendency is to dive into a big project, schedule time in the first week for planning. On an ongoing basis, reserve time on Sunday or Monday to sketch out your week, Wednesday for midweek adjustments and/or Friday to digest how the week has gone and what is a priority for the following week. Finally, set calendar appointments on a monthly and quarterly basis to check in on your longer-term goals that might not have firm timetables – e.g., tending to your network.

5 – Reserve and protect down time

Counter-intuitively, one way to get more done is to work less. Productive people take regular breaks, both short rests throughout the day and longer periods of time away (This Psychology Today post is a great summary on the science behind why breaks improve performance.)

You may need to plan your breaks if you tend to just plow through your day and even work through lunch. Set an alarm every 25-50 minutes to take a short break – stand up and stretch, drink a glass of water, even just close your eyes and do some deep breaths.


Productivity is about behaviors not qualities

Remembering that productivity is about the actions you take and not the person you are means that productivity is a learned skill, not something you are born with. Even if you weren’t productive before, you can start today to take smarter actions, change your behavior, and improve your productivity.

Credit: Forbes

TALENT MANAGEMENT REINVENTION – WHAT HR NEEDS DURING POST-COVID-19

What reinventions can we expect from agile HR pros in a post-COVID world? Consider the following six points.

1. Work related to your organization’s culture

Your work will shift to a higher mix of communications and brand work over physical places and events. As location continues to matter less, the best HR teams will modify their investments related to culture. Hello digital tools, goodbye picnic-planning.

2. Proactive organizational design efforts

Your organizational design should seek to meet individual desires for remote work with a focus on high-potential employees. Post-COVID, some employees will want to come back to the office full time, some will never want to return to the cube. True HR leaders will ensure their organization is agile enough to meet the diverse set of needs, accommodating and prioritizing high performers. Treating everyone equally will continue to decrease in importance, at least for high-performing organizations attuned to talent.

3. Additional training focused on managers engaging distributed teams

Commission additional training for your leaders. Managers who were great coaches before the pandemic may see their effectiveness drop in the “new normal.” Great HR will monitor those gaps and provide the tools necessary to help managers maximize the post-COVID performance of their teams. The critical conversations will remain the same, but the use of digital tools and building trust across remote teams will rise in importance.

4. Recruiting strategy will evolve

Your talent acquisition approach will shift to focus more on onboarding the best candidate regardless of location. The great COVID lockdown proved we can tolerate more remote work. It makes sense that the strongest HR leaders will help organizations understand the opportunity to recruit everywhere as a result. You’ll know you’re a part of the change if you’re researching underappreciated and underutilized markets for the key job families that make your business run.

5. Risk analysis related to the retention of current employees will increase

Talent management teams will need to prioritize risk analysis as more companies hunt the best talent regardless of location (putting your existing employee base at further risk). Whether you decide to recruit the best talent by adding more remote workers or not, be prepared – competitors (direct and otherwise) are coming for your talent.

If you’re not delivering on your brand promise, your best people will have an increased ability to find another opportunity in another city – without having to move. Smart companies will plan retention touchpoints in a systematic way.

6. Optimize existing solutions (or acquire new ones) to help deliver services to a distributed workforce

Smart HR functions will optimize or adopt new learning and development, goal setting, coaching and performance tools for their distributed workforce. If your digital talent tools aren’t effective for the post-COVID world, now is the time to shop. Save your company some money on rent due to increased remote work, but invest a bit of the savings back to increase your outcomes related to talent.

There’s a new normal coming for all of us in 2021 and beyond, HR pros who recognize these trends and focus development and effort accordingly will win in the post-COVID world. There’s never been a better time to have an impact on the business in the world of HR.

https://www.saba.com/fr/blog/how-hr-pros-are-reinventing-themselves-in-a-post-covid-world

LAID OFF TO START-UP: TIPS TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR

Millions of people have lost their jobs as a result of the economic downturn caused by the global pandemic. Not only is unemployment financially taxing, but it can also cause an overwhelming sense of defeat.

11 leaders we’re asked for the best tips for bouncing back and recovering mentally after being laid off due to the coronavirus.

Their insights might inspire you.

Allow Yourself Time to Process

Upon losing your job, you are bound to feel a roller coaster of emotions; anger, anxiety, fear, sadness. Feeling all these emotions is completely normal. Taking a week or two to process your emotions, instead of trying to land the next job that comes along, will clear your mind and recharge your spirits. If too much time has passed and you aren’t feeling like yourself, consider reaching out to those in your personal network for support and advice.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie: Find Your True Self

Find your true self and don’t let your job define who you truly are. We have become a culture where the second thing we ask a complete stranger is “what do you do”. But just because you don’t have an employer doesn’t mean that you “don’t do anything” or that you aren’t worth anything. I recommend taking some time to think about what your personal mission and branding is and use that to promote your self-worth. Being laid off can affect your confidence and undergoing the interview process and constant rejection can be exhausting. I recommend taking some time to explore what truly brings you happiness and use what you already love and do to promote yourself.

Audrey Hutnick, Marketing Manager: Focus on Your Mental Health

The best tip is to take time to focus on your mental health. This might include taking a break before starting to look for a new job. I would also suggest really focusing on what you want to do next career-wise and don’t compromise.

Dana Felix, HR Analyst: Discover Your Value

First, know that this is not a reflection of you as a person, your value, or the work that you do. Do you want me to say that again? This is not a reflection of you as a person, your value, or the work that you do. Know that abrupt changes like this take time to process and often move through similar phases as grief. All of your feelings are valid. Optimize the good days, give yourself grace on the bad ones. Know that you are not alone. You are now your own boss and you are in charge of setting boundaries for your job hunt, your personal life, and your mental health. Make sure you take care of yourself.

Sydney Stern Miller, Growth Marketing Lead: Remember, You Are in Control

Being laid off is both financially and emotionally taxing. Take some time to cry, scream, or sulk, then gather your thoughts and prepare to move forward. Check LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other job posting platforms. Open up to your friends and family-they might know someone looking to hire a new team member. Own it. I’ve seen people change their job titles on LinkedIn to “Full-Time Parent” with a tongue-in-cheek description of their duties as a stay-at-home parent during the pandemic. Though you aren’t always in control of getting laid off, you are in control of how you handle it.

Emily Bosak, Nonprofit SEO Company:  Make Meaningful Connections

Use the spare time you have to make as many connections as you can. Reach out on LinkedIn and in freelance/business groups. Don’t pitch your services, but instead have honest conversations about the current climate and how you’re both coping. People trust people, and the most trusted, well-paid freelance positions and jobs often come from connections and ‘people knowing people’.

Dale Johnson, Nomad Paradise: Take on a Part-Time Job

Keep busy and take any part-time job available: Staying active can make an impact on your psychologically. Keeping to a schedule, even if it’s different from life before the layoff, can keep you focused on things other than what happened. Take some time for yourself by learning a new skill, or volunteer in your local community. Build on any schedule of activity to keep yourself mentally prepared to return for work when it happens.

Grant Aldrich, Online Degree: Strengthen Your Existing Network

Job hunters should strengthen existing relationships, and the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to renew old ties. Call up classmates from high school, college, grad school, and colleagues from past employers. Don’t focus on your job search or ask for help with that, but just check in to see how people are doing, and catch up on their journey since the last time you spoke. It is okay to mention that you are hunting for a new job.

Will Bachman, Umbrex: Find a Passion Project

Find something to keep you going. Whether you thought about opening your own business such as a bakery, photography, or even a travel business, give it a shot, social media and the internet are the greatest tools we have available to promote ourselves, our goals and dreams, and find help from those who may not only offer you mental support but also financial. There are hundreds of investors out there who are looking for someone who is passionate about what they do and want to help. So join entrepreneurial chats, read books, and look at what you have in front of you to make you feel better than you have ever done before. This is a great opportunity to discover your talents and hobbies and make them into a profession. You just need the right mindset.

Andrew Roderick, Credit Repair Companies: Turn a Skill into a Business

Any marketable skill can be turned into a business if combined with sufficient hustle. Set attainable sales goals daily, monthly, and yearly and gear your business activities to meet them. All of your challenges and questions can be sorted into one of these three areas. Marketing brings in customers. Operations keep customers. Finance is the scoreboard. Grow incrementally by meeting reasonable, attainable goals and you will create your own job. And you will like the boss!

James Chittenden, One Click Advisor: Tell Your Story

Share your story to bounce back: The best tip for bouncing back after being laid off: be yourself and tell your story to future jobs you want. You stand out by being authentic and vulnerable. Talk about the love for what you do, your field, your kids – Just be a human! People work with people, never forget that! The best thing to do: Go work on yourself. You did nothing wrong as a person, COVID-19 caused you to get laid off. Use this time to learn a new skill or update your website, LinkedIn, etc. Just remember you are still strong, smart, and powerful. Use this time to work on yourself – and I bet you will find a better job!

https://www.goodwillaz.org/laid-off-due-to-coronavirus-11-ways-to-bounce-back/amp/

ESSENTIAL JOB SKILLS IN A POST-COVID WORLD

The pandemic has almost left people and nations high and dry. Industry experts are predicting unprecedented economic downfall, which has led to job loss and pay cuts. The governments of various countries have already started announcing financial packages to ease the damage done by extended periods of lockdown.  However, people can utilize this period to develop new skills that will help them take forward their careers in a post-Coronavirus world. Let’s look at a few such job skills that help  survive in the professional world after the pandemic is over.

Leadership Skills

When a ship is in trouble, only an able captain can sail it through troubled water. During this hour of crisis, people with strong leadership qualities can lead a team to success. Industry experts are predicting work from home to be the next big thing. Already many tech giants have asked their employees to work from home till the end of 2020. So people with strong leadership skills who can manage team distantly, inspire teammates to work hard and bring out the best in others would be a safe bet for companies. So, it’s time to hone your leadership qualities

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is that quality that helps a person to understand other’s emotions better and express or control his or her emotions well. All great leaders possess this quality. They are empathetic and can easily gauge the mental and emotional health of an employee. And during the stressful period that we are in today, employees with high emotional intelligence have better chances of survival.

Technology skills

One of the biggest traits that can help employees survive in a post-coronavirus world is their ability to be tech-savvy. The pandemic has brought about huge digital transformations—employees are working from home, they are doing online meetings and social media tools to connect professionally have become indispensable. According to experts, artificial intelligence, Internet controlled operations; robotics, and so on, will be the future that will help industries grow more resilient to pandemics in the future. It is therefore very important that people develop an aptitude to learn new technologies and develop the skill to use emerging tools in their work effectively.

Adapt to changes

The lockdown has brought about many changes in our lives and there will definitely be more changes waiting our way after the pandemic is over. The way offices function, how we work etc. will change and with work from home becoming a reality, the change has already begun. People with the skill to adapt quickly to changes would be of great value to their workplaces.

3 STRATEGIES FOR LEADING EFFECTIVELY AMID COVID-19

The coronavirus is turning out to be a critical leadership stress test. It has challenged virtually every contingency plan and risk mitigation strategy that leaders have ever envisioned.

Even now, as they prioritize speed and agility over elegance in this time of severe disruption, they need strategies that drive action and inspire followers.

When the whole world has changed, employees need steady leadership most – but that’s also when it’s most difficult to lead. Below are a few professional recommendations that can help:

1.) EMPLOYEES NEED TRUST AND COMPASSION: BE PRESENT, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE DISTANT

In some countries and in certain industries, most employees work remotely, even before the pandemic. Today, many more industries and countries have adopted this idea. Demonstrating care and compassion may require leaders to communicate authentically via video addresses.

It goes to show you don’t have to be in the building to be visible and show a strong leadership presence. Carefully craft your leadership narrative to share your optimism and hope. All interested parties – workers, customers, suppliers and partners – need to know what you are doing to face challenges, especially as social distancing increases, to face their own.

Managers are your prime conduits of culture and information and the catalysts of employee performance. And they need your compassion and help more than ever.

2.) EMPLOYEES NEED STABILITY: PRIORITIZE WELLBEING AMID DISRUPTION

Some businesses have acted with laudable swiftness to keep their employees physically safe, but people’s financial, social, community and career wellbeing are all in some danger. Indeed, the level of job insecurity has risen since the pandemic. Many have lost their job and are in the midst of wild uncertainty. However, knowing their jobs are safe and their welfare is prioritized, leadership will become easier. Carefully craft your leadership narrative to share your optimism and hope.

3.) EMPLOYEES NEED HOPE: ANCHOR TO YOUR “TRUE NORTH”

On March 15, the fashion and perfume retailer LVMH instructed three of their factories to stop producing their iconic perfume brands like Christian Dior and Givenchy and start making hand sanitizer, which will be delivered free of charge to French health agencies and the largest hospital system in Europe. And LVMH is not alone. Leaders at many organizations are using their resources to help drive the response to this pandemic.

Those companies are defeating the disease with their own unique purpose. By doing what only they can do, they’re saving the lives of their fellow citizens. What was a job a month ago is a calling today.

Like the leaders of those companies, find your calling to show your hope for the future and inspire it in your employees. Keep your team and your company anchored toward what truly endures – your purpose and your values. Your organization doesn’t have to create the materials to combat disease, your support, care and an empathetic response to customers and workers can be more than enough.

Someday, leaders will have time to identify what they wish they’d known or done or had before the world changed. Today is not that day. But keep notes. Pay attention to the outcomes of your decisions, and learn how other leaders are dealing with uncertainty, unforeseen circumstances, even failure.

There is no playbook for a pandemic. But the global business community’s incredibly agile, humanistic, unified response is a near-miracle. There are valuable lessons to learn that should not go to waste – but that’s for tomorrow. Today is for protecting your employees’ well-being, focusing on your managers and leading with purpose.

POST LOCKDOWN: REINTRODUCING EMPLOYEES TO WORKPLACE

Although there is an improvement in the situation of things, the pandemic is still not over. However, since the economy all around the world is suffering, people just have to get back to work. Some were able to work from home during the lockdown that was introduced in different forms in a lot of countries but some weren’t able to.

Regardless of the situation, the next period is going to be tough for both the employers who have to prepare the working space and change many things to ensure a healthy working environment and the employees who are afraid of being exposed to the virus. So, let’s see how this transition can be made easier.

  • Consider remote working

For starters, due to the sheer necessity for creating a distance between the employees, it’s best for employers to consider which of the employees need to come to work and which can work from home. If the nature of their work is such that they can work from home, one solution could be to create two groups and rotate them so that one week/month one group is in the office, and then the other group for the following week/month. In this way, you won’t have too many people in one place.

Many companies who haven’t considered remote working earlier are pondering it now since as long as the work is done as it should and on time, it’s irrelevant whether your employees are doing it in their PJs from the living room or the office. So, unless it is really necessary, some employees can continue working from home which can also decrease some of the costs for the employer.

  • Improve internal communication

The employees need to be informed at all times and for that to be able, it’s essential for the employers to improve the internal channels of communication and insist on transparency. This means that all the facts about the virus and how it will affect their daily work need to be accessible at any time, as well as any decisions that are subsequently made.

There are many software solutions that can serve this purpose so it’s only a question of choosing the one that benefits the company the most. If some of the employees are working from home and with the idea of keeping a distance between those that are present in the office, having a good communication channel is what will ensure everything is synced and finished on time.

  • Make them feel safe

WHO has offered a model for businesses to be able to ensure a healthy working environment through occupational safety and health measures but what’s essential is for the employees to sit at a distance from each other and that they aren’t in groups in any of the smaller spaces, such as the kitchen. Wiping door handles and any surfaces that are used by a lot of people is crucial.

Also, the offices need to be cleaned regularly and if the employees work in shifts and use the same table, keyboard, etc., then the working station should be disinfected even more often. Having soap and disposable paper towels is a must and it would be great if they also get surgical masks and hand sanitizers to make them feel even more secure. Placing signs to remind employees how to behave is important since it’s easy to forget to keep distance with their heads buried in work.

  • Re-evaluate the workload

It’s not just the office space that needs change – it’s the workload and tasks as well. You may not have the same number of employees at your disposal and the needs of your clients and customers may have changed as well, so some degree of adaptation is more than necessary.

The first thing to do is to reschedule all projects and tasks that are not urgent – this first period should be dedicated to the most important projects and clients and to monitoring how the implemented changes fit. Time will tell if something is not functioning as it should, and then the employers would need to change the strategy again. The idea is to be realistic about the goals but also about a fair distribution of workload on the employees.

  • Offer psychological support

These events have surprised and shaken up everyone, and although some people seem to be handling things better than others, we are all on the same boat. Circumstances differ from person to person, that much is true but every single person has had one or more days when they felt that the world is closing in on them.

People are suddenly gripping their job positions more tightly, scared of losing their jobs in the midst of such uncertain times and many of them have older parents or grandparents or babies who they want to protect. So, if the chance presents itself, psychological counseling would be more than welcome.

  • Wrapping up

This period comes with a lot of changes both for the employers and the employees but if the employees are made to feel safe and respected, they will work even harder to push through the crises. The common business goal of both groups is to keep the company running so with the right measurements in place, they can make it so together.

https://humanengineers.com/reintroducing-employees-to-the-workplace-post-lockdown/amp/

REBOOTING YOUR COMPANY CULTURE FOR THE SOCIALLY DISTANCED WORKPLACE

For the return to the workplace to be successful it will be vital for businesses to fine tune their cultures. Getting it right means retaining your best people. But getting it wrong could see them seeking employment elsewhere.

As the government eases the lockdown restrictions, many employees have started returning to work. Even those who can work from home will now be contemplating what a return to the office might look like. But suggested safety measures are set to result in some drastic changes, leaving leaders with a new predicament: how will they reinvigorate and sustain that workplace culture?

Proposed rules include the end of hot-desking, no use of canteens, staggered shifts, and two-metre distancing enforced with floor tape. Employees will be advised to avoid sharing pens and to steer clear of face-to-face meetings. Things we once considered a fundamental part of the workplace environment – water cooler chats, tea rounds, birthday cakes – will, temporarily at least, be a thing of the past. Just the idea of a colleague blowing out candles and then sharing the cake round is enough now to make us shudder.

A recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce revealed that most firms believe they would be able to restart business and return to the office with just three weeks’ notice. But will employees be so eager to return with such strict limitations in place? And what can employers do to ensure a safe and positive atmosphere for everyone to return to?

Maintain channels of connection
One of the positive trends to emerge from lockdown is a greater emphasis on connectedness. Organisations have introduced a plethora of online initiatives to bring people together.

It’s been heartening to see camaraderie among employees during challenging times, and it’s important that employers continue to encourage this when we return to the workplace. There will likely be a transition period, with just a limited number of people permitted to return. During this time, employers will need to be careful to communicate regularly and clearly to those both in the workplace and those still working at home. They must continue to host online meetings and events, dial in remote workers, and use messaging apps. We’re fortunate that technology allows us to stay connected when we’re apart. Employers should continue to embrace this as the office gradually reopens to prevent communication waning.

There’s also an opportunity here for organisations to strengthen their long-term relationship with employees and reinforce mutual trust. As attitudes and approaches to work are likely to have changed, it will be worthwhile taking a fresh look at company values to ensure they reflect the new reality. Business leaders should ask employees for their feedback on the experience and what they learnt from working through this crisis. They may find common themes crop up in which case organisations should consider finding a way to enshrine these in their values. They will also need to adapt and bring the new ways of working into life for their employees. There is no going back to ‘business as usual’ – we’ve already entered the ‘unusual business’ that will shape the new world of work order.

Two-way communication is key.

These have been, and will continue to be, uncertain times for all businesses. Employees will look to their leaders for guidance and reassurance on how their company will keep them safe, and for plans on business continuity.

The importance of clear communication at this time cannot be overstated. Employees will be cognisant of the risks of returning to the workplace and employers should give them as much information as possible. They must also keep lines of communication open, and commit to addressing employees’ concerns quickly. This will be key to maintaining employee confidence and a positive workplace environment.

There’s also an opportunity here for organisations to strengthen their long-term relationship with employees and reinforce mutual trust. By communicating frequently, in an open, transparent and timely manner, employers can demonstrate the care and respect they have for their people. This is the time to overcommunicate to show your employees that you are responsive, responsible, proactive and invested.

Covid-19 has already turned the world of work on its head. And economic recovery is likely to take time, with many businesses fighting for survival. Against this difficult backdrop, fine tuning your company culture is key. It could mean the difference between retaining your best people, or them seeking employment elsewhere.