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5 tips for reintegrating furloughed workers 

Published: Thursday 6th August 2020

It is a sign that things could finally be returning to some sort of normality, as you prepare to bring back your furloughed workers. It has been an incredibly tough time for everyone in the country, but the government advice means that we can all start to return to a routine. Many workers across the country have not worked since the end of March, with millions of people benefiting from the job retention scheme. Remote working has been possible for some workers, but some industries have meant that it has been impossible for some people. Of course, some companies may have had their hand forced with the news that the furlough scheme is set to end. 

However, the fact remains that it could be a tricky process to get all employees up to speed. Here are our five tips for how to reconnect with your staff. 

Share new goals and targets with furloughed workers

The financial impact of the coronavirus has meant that businesses have had to re-assess what they are looking to achieve. The record fall in the British economy means that targets and plans have had a 2020 re-forecast. Naturally, the government bonus for retaining furloughed workers is a timely boost for companies, especially after the job retention scheme. However, the need for new goals will still be imperative. With multiple employees potentially out of the loop, you will need to communicate these updated targets upon their return to work.  

people walking in London, furloughed workers returning to work.

Define your expectations 

It can sometimes be difficult to track the return on investment on an individual basis in some sectors. However, it is important that all staff are working towards a common goal with the economic shift in the UK. Strong workforce management will be required and you will have to adapt to the post-pandemic world. Some employees may have had set jobs prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. Roles may have been altered since then and managing that process will be key to a successful re-integration. If you have been able to cut costs to avoid unfortunate redundancies, your retained workforce may also have to undertake additional responsibilities when returning to work. 

Embrace the lockdown technology 

Video conferencing has been a major feature of socialising and working since lockdown. This has been a key feature of remote working, and it may well be a tool that you had not previously considered. This can continue to be an effective way of communicating with colleagues, particularly if you are part of a larger organisation. Of course, some furloughed workers may not have had the same level of experience in using the likes of Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Therefore, providing relevant training should also be part of your workforce management strategy.

virtual meeting, female employee talking to coworkers via video call while working from home.

Make the effort to bond with colleagues 

There is no denying that the lockdown has had a mental and physical impact on some furloughed workers. Some employees may feel quite isolated, especially if your company has continued to operate without them during the coronavirus pandemic. Managing the morale of staff will now be more important than ever before. People returning to work may feel a little unsure to begin with. Putting the time in to develop and enhance working relationships can help your company to overcome a different period. 

Embrace a positive culture 

There is likely to be a natural change in company culture in workforces across the country. Implementing a positive working environment will be key to ensuring your business is secure in the long-term. It may also be a time to fix any potential culture issues that were rife prior to Covid-19. This could give you the opportunity to install some new company values, where previously furloughed workers will feel like they are part of a new start. 

For more tips, you can check out our hirer blogs as part of our Info Hub! You can also check out some of our other tips for reconnecting with colleagues. 

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