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  • Writer's pictureJim Nicholls

From Furlough to Fit For Work

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

As organisations start to operate in the new normal and reengaging their people it's useful to think about the support required to 're-boarding' teams and people.

There is substantial evidence to suggest that returning to work, even after three weeks off, requires planning.

Below are six reboarding considerations:

1. Communications: early and regular communications to your people to set and manage expectations and timescales is critical. Sensitivities are key here, many may have been personally affected by the pandemic in a variety of ways. Best practice would suggest that this should be by their line manager who will need to be briefed so that they deliver the right messages.

2. Health Assessment: it could be an opportunity to provide some sort of assessment on the readiness to return to work or utilise an occupational health specialist. Maybe you've decided that your organisation needs to emphasise health and wellbeing in the 'new normal' and that this assessment will cover these new elements.

3. Develop a reboarding plan: this is a great opportunity to consider resetting the tone and expectations, much like induction for onboarding this is a great time to reengage and emphasise the new cultural norms.

4. Launching or instilling your health, wellbeing and corporate (social) responsibility programmes: fitness, taking physical care and mental wellbeing are some of the new priorities your people now have, how is your organisation going to enable them to continue and reinforce this good habits? The flexibility at work to continue these practices will support the reduction in absence and long-term absence. Volunteering will have also been a large part of your team's daily routines, how will you support your people to continue this community involvement?

5. Flexibility at work: the work life balance will have blended for many, an informality to dress codes and online meeting etiquette has been redefined, there is an opportunity to continue trusting your people to deliver their objectives where ever they are and not reintroduce the required presentism prevalent in the old normal workplace.

6. Workplace adaptions and adjustments: take this opportunity to redefine you and your teams contribution to the organistaion, focus on aligning against the new objectives and clarify how your team adds value and contributes to the organisation's success. This may mean refining tasks and duties, changing the way work is managed or require additional training.

If you or your organisation needs additional support to lead and manage your reboarding process then please contact me.

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