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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Rebuilding Staff Trust Prior to Their Return to the Office


Employees are the glue of your company. But as team members return to the office after COVID-19 disruption, they come back a bit different than they left.

They return with a level of anxiousness. They may have workplace safety concerns. Some have lost colleagues through layoffs. Others have experienced a furlough or a pay cut. In short, your connection with your employees may be strained.

At the heart of the issue is trust. And it is important to note that — for the most part — circumstance has brought you to this point. You did not create the pandemic. But you are responsible for successfully reengaging employee trust and rebuilding your team.

Never forget, your employees can be your most powerful ambassadors. But only if they believe in the company and its mission.

So be proactive, rebuild trust and boost staff confidence prior to their return to the office. Here is a simple formula: Ask, Listen, Evaluate and Refine.

Ask – Ask how they feel about the new workplace safety protocols. Find out what you got right and where you can improve. You need to bring them into a two-way conversation and create an environment of care and empathy. This is about their success.

Listen – You must pay attention and seek feedback. A great tool to do so is employee surveys. They allow you to find out employees’ hopes, concerns and fears.

Evaluate – Allow time to evaluate that feedback and respond thoughtfully. The real win is when you address pertinent issues before or as team members return to the office.

Refine – This is an ongoing process. Once you see how team members respond, adjust. If you are engaged in the process, you have a better opportunity to reengage and build trust.

The companies that will be successful in this new era are those that communicate with clarity and win back the hearts and minds of team members.

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