As the coronavirus crisis develops, things aren’t back to normal. However, we’re slowly going back to work or at least starting to prepare for that moment. When that moment arrives, employers will probably have to remodel offices to make sure all employees can practice social distancing and keep each other safe. As an internal communications professional, what can you do to make sure your colleagues’ reboarding goes right? A corporate app can help!
Over the past few months, many of us have hardly had the opportunity to work together physically. Therefore, we’ve collectedly started using Teams and Zoom to stay connected. A trend that millennials and Gen Z are happy about, but that other generations seem to have (inevitably) started embracing, too. And a trend that’s here to stay, even when more employees return to their dedicated workspaces.
A smooth return to work
After eight weeks of working remotely, there are many uncertainties and questions employees may have when they finally return to their work location. So many changes … for employees, it may feel as though it’s their first day at work again. For their first day, you’d usually set up an onboarding program to get your new colleagues started. And for your colleagues’ return to work, you can do the same: set up a great reboarding program, in which you guide them through the resumption of their work after a prolonged absence from their dedicated workspace. We’ve listed six ways you can use a digital solution, a corporate app, to make the best of your colleagues’ reboarding:
1. Prepare employees
Applying social distancing may be easy at home, but it becomes a lot more complicated at work. Employers will have to introduce all kinds of new safety measures to be able to comply with new government advice and rules. However, an employer who fails to communicate these new rules and measures on time unnecessarily puts their employees’ health and safety at risk. Employees must be prepared for these changes before they return to work. This way, they can focus on the information at a moment of their choice, so they can read it thoroughly, allowing them to act accordingly when they return to the office.
You can inform your employees about your new rules and policy via a corporate app. The app enables you to reach your workforce wherever they are, even employees without a company pc or email address. Moreover, the information is available anywhere and at any time. Your employees can consult the app 24/7, so they can always view and read the information at their own pace. This way, your employees will return to the office fully informed about and aware of the new rules.
2. Communicate transparently
A study by Edelman shows people identify ‘my employer’ as the most credible source of information. Sixty-three percent of respondents said that they would believe information from that channel after one or two exposures, versus 58 percent for government websites and 51 percent for traditional media. In short: we want reliable updates, preferably from our own employer.
A corporate app allows management to give direct updates, keep control of communications, stay ahead of rumors, and address non-desk employees and remote workers. Your CEO can regularly post short updates (it’s easy and takes very little time, we know they’re busy!). To make updates a little more personal, publishing videos is a possibility, too. Upload a video to your SharePoint and distribute it via the app. Employees can immediately give their feedback on updates: through likes and comments, they can ask questions or respond to colleagues. And they don’t have to interrupt their work to do so; they can check the updates at their convenience.
3. Push messages
All kinds of measures will undoubtedly require additional changes in the coming months. As an employer, you have to make sure all vital information regarding these changes is up to date and easy to find. If you want to keep your employees safe and healthy, that is of the utmost importance. Ideally, you would bring important information straight to your staff, without them having to raise so much as a finger.
With push messages, this becomes a reality. Have you got essential information that your employees should read right now, wherever they are? Skip email: before you have drafted and sent your email and it’s read by all your employees, your message may well be outdated. Instead, send a push message via your corporate app. Your employees will receive a message on their phones that cannot be overlooked. And they don’t have to search for the news, because you brought the information directly to them. A great way to make sure everyone is armed with the essential information they need to keep themselves and their colleagues safe.
4. Target information
Different departments and work locations require various measures regarding the safety and health of your employees. For workers in factories or production sites, the measures that should be adhered to in your organization’s offices aren’t interesting. And vice versa, that information will only create confusion or distractions.
With your corporate app, you can make sure that your employees only see the information that is of relevance to them. Create audience groups and target the information intended for each audience group. That will make informing your employees more efficient, and fewer questions and distractions will arise. Everyone can safely get to work, without irrelevant information continually distracting them from their work.
5. Update fast and efficient
Your employees have returned to work. However, their reboarding isn’t complete yet. In the coming months, there are still a lot of uncertainties. A lot of things can change, even within your organization. To make sure everyone can keep doing their job, it’s important to quickly and efficiently bring this new information to the attention of your employees.
A corporate app allows you to publish these new measures in the blink of an eye, so you can keep your employees fully informed and up to date – even when they have been back at work for a while. And with the ability to manage statistics, you can keep track of how many people read your message, clicked on links, or liked a message. You can see whether or not the information has actually reached your employees – and if the statistics show that it hasn’t, you can easily send a push message.
6. Distribute FAQs
New measures and protocols can also raise an enormous amount of questions. Be a reliable source where employees can find relevant information, like all the answers to their questions. Collect all questions and answers and put together an FAQ. That’s convenient for you, too: you won’t be answering the same questions over and over, as your employees can find the answers to frequently asked questions all in one place. But how will your employees find that FAQ among the overload of information that’s already in your organization?
Distribute your FAQ easily among your employees. Publish it directly to your app. Or publish it to your SharePoint, and connect your SharePoint to your corporate app. Your app will automatically show your SharePoint articles and documents. Connecting your SharePoint with your app means you only have to do the work once. You publish the information on your SharePoint for all to find, and your corporate app will automatically synchronize with your SharePoint and will show your FAQ. That way, your colleagues can easily view the answers to their questions, from anywhere and at any time. Without having to search for the information!
For now, the advice to work from home as much as possible still stands. But that makes this period the time to prepare your organization for the reboarding of your employees. Do you need help reboarding your colleagues? Download our checklist ‘Back to (the new) normal’ to help get your colleagues started quickly and safely upon their returning. Or contact us, we’re happy to help!