While growing your business, you have probably developed strategies for successful onboarding. Every company is dealing with newcomers and perfecting the onboarding process. Welcoming new employees in your company is a process that determines if your new worker stays or leaves within the first 6 months. Companies do understand the importance of onboarding. On the other side, they tend to forget about other situations – employees returning to work.
Whether we are talking about a mother coming back after maternity leave / or a father after paternity leave, an ex-employee returning to your company or staff returning after serious injury or disease, you should equally have a return-to-work plan in place. Based on findings of the Institute for Work&Health I summed up practices you might benefit from when re-boarding employees.
1. Name coordinator for re-boarding
Choose a person who will coordinate the whole return-to-work process. From early contact with your employee through conversations with healthcare providers to a successful integration of the returnee to the working environment.
2. Train supervisors
Trained supervisors will make reintegration process easier for all parties involved. They can assist if returnee has a special need and promptly act if something doesn’t turn according to the plan.
3. Meet and talk to your returning employee
Unlike newcomers, returnees already understand the environment and their work duties. They don’t require extensive preparation for their job. However, conversations between employer and employee should take place not only on their return day. Showing support can set the tone how motivated and valued the employee will feel. As an employer, you can use these conversations to brief them about changes and also better understand their specific needs.
4. Cooperate with the experts
Re-boarding is probably more of a rare occasion at your company. To make this process faster and successful, you should consider involving experts. A professional coach by the side of your returning employee can be a tremendous help, so he/she can become fully motivated and productive again in a shorter time. Working with such professional carries also longer term benefits. Your employee might become more resilient, spend less time on sick leave, deal better with stress situations and, therefore, make better decisions.
In case, your employee suffered serious injury or illness and is unable to perform fully all his previous duties, involve in the process health care workers to ensure a healthy and safe environment. Modification of job description might be necessary, but be careful not to disadvantage the co-workers, who can get extra duties and responsibilities. To avoid such conflicts, you can as well use the service of a professional coach.
Misunderstandings when returning to work can lead to hostility and mistrust. Right, early and sensitive approach can make this difficult time easier for the returnee. Tips I mentioned above can help you to avoid possible problems connected to re-boarding and decrease a chance that your employee will loose motivation to work at your company.
Let us know if your organisation is prepared for the re-boarding and what your personal experiences are in regards to this subject!