Investing in the Return – the case of furloughed staff
Inspired Search has written a paper on managing the wellbeing of furloughed staff and, in particular, on their return to the workplace for when we start to integrate those furloughed back in.
For many of us, our careers have been punctuated with conversations about ‘return on investment’ and now it’s time to invest in the return. In this case, the return of furloughed staff. We are not talking about making major financial investments here, we are talking about investments of time and duty of care to our business’s largest assets – our people.
We are in unprecedented times here and, indeed, many of us had not heard the term ‘furlough’ until the recent pandemic of COVID-19. We don’t have historical successes of returning furloughed workers into our organisations to rinse and repeat. Inspired Search has been researching the several other modes of long term leave and how businesses manage returning from these, alongside conversations with business leaders and wellbeing professionals regarding the current situation, to curate a succinct and practical guide that can be used specifically for the return of furloughed staff.
With many of our colleagues on furlough right now, we have a significant proportion of our staff not actively working. Feelings of worry, nervousness and loneliness would all be expected and normal among them. We know that mental health and physical health are incredibly linked and it’s vital that we look after our staff during this period so that they can have healthy and productive returns to work and careers beyond. In the recent IPG virtual conference, Melissa Doman reminded us that a third of job performance is accounted for by staff wellbeing. Now of course we want to look after our staff because we are human and we care but, as businesses, we really can’t afford not to be proactive in creating nurturing environments for the team.
The paper includes the following areas: how to handle the initial discussions around being furloughed, preparing staff for the absence, then onto how best to stay in touch with staff during their furloughed period and then will give focus to the return of furloughed staff back into the workplace.
We will look at how to put a mini-induction in place for those returning and what to include. What should the initial conversations look like? And how to create a template for them that allows for personal differences and circumstances to be embraced.
There is lots of information out there that you should be reading on the legal side of things but here we want to put wellbeing at the front and centre of the conversation so that we can continue to offer our staff working environments in which they can thrive.
If you would like a copy of the paper, please send an email to M.D. Suzy Astbury (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Search Director Abigail Barclay (email@example.com) with the subject line ‘Investing in the Return’.