Following the recent announcements and the road map for restrictions lifting, more and more businesses will be starting to think about bringing their teams back into the office. People are the backbone of many SMEs and HR provision is something that we do touch on a lot when speaking to business owners, as part of their overall strategy, especially when employees have had to change their working patterns due to Covid-19.
Chloe Carey, one of our Business Growth Advisors offers a word of caution, before we all look to embark on a wholesale attempt to return to “normal” – it would be useful to step back and see what lessons have been learnt over the past 12 months. Consider whether the ways of working during Covid-19 have any positive impact on the workplace, employees, service levels, productivity and profitability.
Don’t be afraid to make permanent changes based on this data, but more importantly speak to your customers and staff about their experiences.
One thing you can be sure of is that your employees have had a lot of time to reassessing their priorities and they have been thinking very carefully about how they want their new “normal” to be.
There will be several factors that influence a person’s outlook, many will relish a return to the workplace whilst others have found a work life balance whilst working from home which fits their personal circumstances perfectly.
Take the time to meet and talk with staff to discuss how as a business you see things moving forwards and get a view on their position. It is important as a people manager to understand your teams’ position. The following information will help you prepare for and position those discussions, inviting honest, genuine feedback and uncovering ways to improve performance whilst meeting the aims of the business.
If the meeting is to be successful in motivating employees and enhancing job performance, it is essential to plan and conduct effective an effective meeting.
Preparation for an appraisal interview is one of the most important stages of the appraisal process.
We would recommend having the necessary facts about the employee’s recent performance and personal circumstances before you at the time of the meeting.
Since usually you may only speak with your team members formally once or twice a year, it is advisable for you to make records and thorough notes throughout the year of instances when the employee has performed well, adequately or badly. Doing this will provide specific, factual examples for you to discuss with them if necessary during the meeting.
Having specific examples will be particularly important if you need to discuss area’s where performance might not have been up to scratch.
Chloe has previously written about preparations for returning to the office after Covid and designed a template for meetings with employees.