After the COVID pandemic, many states moving from red to yellow will readjust to their old offices, warehouses, restaurants, etc. While some (luckily) will come back with a new attitude and a positive outlook on life, there will be others who bring their old negative qualities. What should I do?
NOW is a great time to nip these issues in the bud, as the saying goes. Face them without hesitation. Of course, it would be nice to give people the opportunity to join your team again. But keep in mind that if you’re not exercising your right, it’s also a disservice (for those who are opposed to negativity) to discipline those who cause friction at work. In fact, it is an affront to anyone who plays by the rules.
This transfers responsibility directly to those in leadership positions. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that the workplace is both safe and tolerable. Otherwise, the workplace will suffer, the right employees will leave – and you will stay with what is left. Ask yourself: is this the job I want to participate in?
So let’s assume (for the sake of reasoning) that you are ready to speak up, take responsibility, and make the workplace a safe and bearable place for you and your employees. Where to start and how? Here are four recommendations that The Cohesive Workplace recommends for immediate implementation. These remind your employees why they chose to work with you in the first place:
- OFFICIALLY greet your employees. Use your “Welcome” to acknowledge that we have all had a difficult time and you look forward to meeting these challenges together … as a team. It would be insensitive not to address ‘the pink elephant in the room’, especially if one of your employees has been affected in any way during the pandemic.
- Start with a positive note. Do not warm up negative workplace incidents before COVID. Make it official: we start with a clean board! While serious violations cannot (and should not) be overlooked, let your employees know that you are “not sweating the little things.” Life is too short to be defeated by little irritants. Your business and your employees are worth more.
- Keep a door policy open (to some extent). Trust us: your employees are always afraid … of COVID, of their future in the company and of the other problems they may encounter at home. Remind them that you are in their corner. While you may not be able to solve all of your problems, you are a trusted advocate and a listening ear who may be able to give a positive word (or two) of advice. Your door is open in case you need to ventilate.
- Create opportunities for advancement. Of course, in addition to the salary, the possibility of progressing in your company is a priority! This sends a clear signal of your position within the company when the company searches for a candidate outside its own ranks – especially if its own employees are qualified! This “signal” is negative. He yells: “We don’t like you as an employee!” Once this message enters the air, it is difficult to rewind it. Protests often follow (silent as they are) and eventually everyone is unhappy at work. If you haven’t yet set up an internal promotions program, now is a good time to start.