By: Leandra | August 19, 2020

Women Writing on a Board

By: Christina Nguyen

If you’ve decided to reopen your office, we hope you’re doing so in a safe and considerate way! You can head on over to our previous blog post about how to reopen safely to see some helpful suggestions for getting started.

With the economy slightly opening up again, businesses have found themselves rehiring former employees to cater to increased demands. However, rehiring former employees isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Many businesses are adapting to a “new normal”, which means the duties of the same employees aren’t exactly the same as pre-Covid times. Social dynamics may have changed to account for social distancing. Sales and marketing may have adapted to reflect new habits. 

Keeping your employees safe, healthy, and happy should be a priority. With so many changes in place within your office and throughout society, here are a few things to keep in mind when rehiring employees.

  1. Carefully communicate all your new safety measures.

As employees are coming back into the office again, they’ll have to adhere to your new safety procedures. Make sure all these new changes are clearly communicated so they don’t forget to bring their masks or get someone else sick. If they fail to follow the rules, call them out. Should issues continuously arise, discuss with them the importance of safety and what might be holding them back. If possible, be sure to provide all of the personal protective equipment (PPE) your team members will need to make it easy and cost-effective for them to stay compliant.

  1. If their role has changed, discuss this.

Plenty of workers have found their roles to be slightly different from before. Marketers have had to promote different ways to use their company’s products, videographers have turned to animation or very distanced filming, and writers just have to cover the pandemic. 

Regardless of an employee’s role, something we all have in common is we need to be sensitive and compassionate to our audience’s circumstances. Your employees need to understand the unique circumstances of your company’s specific audience and understand how their work needs to adapt to it. Show them how your target audience is responding to current events and what changes they’re making. If this audience is primarily athletic and younger, business is going to be a little different from a company whose audience is predominantly 65+.

  1. Keep up employee morale.

This is something you should be doing regardless of circumstances, but it’s something that’s especially important to handle with care during these times. The pandemic has left a lot of people understandably anxious, unsure, and not as happy as before, which means many of your employees may not be the same version of themselves. Without asking for too many personal details about each employee’s lives, show empathy and compassion for any setback they might be expressing. Set a good example by showing a positive attitude even in the face of bad news. 

A part of this is being considerate of their safety precautions. If any employees are immunocompromised or prefer working remotely, see what you can do to accommodate this. Even if someone seems to be in tip-top shape, they may be living with others who are a part of high-risk groups.

The pandemic can be a lot to digest, so it makes sense that you’re still in the process of adapting and learning just as they are. Don’t hesitate to show that you don’t know all the answers and you’re working towards a better understanding. We’re all in this together and should work together to understand how we’re responding!

  1. Be prepared to face some negativity.

Many employees understandably harbor resentment that they were let go of in the first place. Without asking too many personal questions about their feelings, speak sensitively and acknowledge the possibility your layoff could have caused some harm. This is especially true if you had let them go with little warning.

If any negative attitudes persist in the workplace, address them, even if it’s uncomfortable. Times are tough and festering negativity will only dampen your company’s mood.

  1. Make sure everything’s realistic for your budget.

Many businesses have taken hits to their budget, especially if they’ve got a product or service that isn’t very pandemic-friendly such as making chic party outfits. On the other hand, some businesses that have helped customers stay at home have seen soaring revenues, such as streaming and e-commerce platforms.

Take an honest look at your current budget and make sure it will be able to handle rehiring all the employees you want to rehire. If not, decide carefully who’s coming back and who isn’t. Don’t forget to consider future projections -- you don’t want to welcome someone back only to have to say another tough goodbye!

We’d love to hear from you! Do you have advice regarding a smooth rehiring process? Let us know in the comments below or send us an email!


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About Stingray Advisory Group LLC: Stingray Advisory Group LLC is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a proud member of Local First and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We help businesses grow. By creating customized solutions, we empower businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools to further their development.

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