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How will we handle return to work with ease?

The uncertainty of post-Covid-19 work environments causes understandable discomfort. On top of that, HR leaders are at the helm of navigating uncharted return to work procedures and ADA accommodations. On today’s HR Chat Series #otherfrontline, Licia Thompson, certified holistic life coach with a specialty in navigating the complexities of ADA accommodations and return to work policies, walks us through how to approach the situation with a bit more ease. With her coaching background, she applies empathy and compassion to legal regulations to meet everyone where they are and show mutual trust between the employer and employee. She provides practical tips on how HR and business leaders can effectively get people back to work amid increasing anxiety and complexities.

Licia outlines 4 main takeaways for HR and Business Leaders:

  • Start to review all current policies and procedures now before the influx truly starts. Get a handle on what the current process is and how to streamline it in the new normal. She advocates for getting all on one system if feasible to allow technology to help structure and automate the process as much as possible.
  • Be sure to understand what restrictions and accommodations were in place for employees before Covid-19. It’s imperative to get a handle on how the temporary restrictions as a result of Covid-19 will affect the permanent restrictions some employees had before the epidemic hit.
  • Ensure communication is clear, concise, and timely. The return to work process can be stressful and overwhelming for both HR and employees in any normal situation. The added complexity of Covid-19 can make it worse. Be open and compassionate with everyone’s situation to help alleviate some of the stress. If you’re unsure of something, lean in with empathy and ask questions until you have a workable understanding of the situation to take action.
  • Remember to take care of yourself and make your health and mental well being a priority. Walk, get some fresh room, and take 5 deep breaths to clear your mind.

Much like everything we’ve experienced over the last 5 weeks, we’re writing the playbook as we go. With a focus on human connection and seeking to understand situations without judgment, we will undoubtedly get through this, and learn a whole hell of a lot in the process. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to use this playbook again in our lifetime.