The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every area of life, changing how we live and think forever. At the height of the global crisis, organisations and business had to make critical decisions as they faced restrictions that came along with the pandemic. Furloughs and layoffs were inevitable and several employees had to deal with these, albeit unprepared.
Fortunately, the world is coming to terms with the impact the pandemic is having on our lives, and also what the way forward would possibly look like. Companies are returning to a new era of business, recalling employees who were furloughed.
Work after Furlough is a practical and educative e-book by Softway, a digital transformation Agency. The e-book presents many tips from lessons learnt by Softway via trial and error, after having 60% of their US staff furloughed amid the COVID-19 crisis.
With reading time of under thirty minutes, this free book is a must have for every member of an organisation or business who had to furlough employees.
Employees of Softway returned to work after six transformative weeks into a new corporate operating environment. They have since been successful in initiating an integration of its workforce, and the process is still ongoing.
Reading through the e-book presents tips for employees who were furloughed and now returning to work on how to adjust to what will look like a ‘new corporate’ environment. It further explains how management and employees who were not furloughed can re-engage with those who faced it. With new operating principles, both sides need to adjust to practices which has become the norm, such as remote working.
Management may be feeling guilty for many reasons. These can include having to initiate furlough, how employees who were affected would feel about them, and how to integrate them properly into the new working order. They may still be figuring out whether they have lost any trust that should be regained. As a result of these, management is advised out of compassion to avoid certain questions, and the reasons are explained in the e-book.
Employees may also be wondering whether their skills are indispensable as work was still in progress during their absence; and whether they are really valued at the organisation. There may be a feeling of isolation and loss of security, and managers need to use empathy in dealing with these employees. Both sides should properly understand and manage the situation at hand, in order to re-integrate the whole workforce properly into the organisation so that they can function within the new system and corporate environment.
Work after Furlough includes tips to manage tasks and schedules in their first week of returning to work. These employees may need some form of onboarding again. Management should be patient with them throughout the integration process into the working environment. For example, when they are invited to meetings, what are some of the things you can say and those that you cannot? Reading the e-book provides answers to all these questions and advises management on how to be flexible enough with issues concerning the welfare of the employees and that of their family, such as childcare considerations.
One of the difficult parts of the process is managing emotions; and this is from both management and employee point of view. The Human Resource Department is likely to be mainly responsible for doing most of the ‘hard work’ in this area, and reading Work after Furlough will help them succeed in doing so.
Furloughed employees are also briefed to understand how it is expected or normal for them to be emotional about the situation during the period of staying at home, and upon their return. They would also be required to open up and be honest so that appropriate help can come their way. The e-book goes on to provide more tips for these employees in making personal efforts to integrate successfully into the new corporate culture.
Considering that all the approaches suggested in the e-book are tried and tested, this twenty-three-page guide is valuable whether you are a manager, member of the HR team or an employee returning to work after furlough. The e-book is available for free download at www.softway.com/lm-furlough-ebook-1
Softway is a digital agency in the business of transformation. With offices in Houston and Bengaluru, it uses the approach of digital, cultural, procedural, professional and personal, to revolutionize the ventures of their clients through the appropriate business strategy.
For more information about how Softway can transform your business digitally; or to download Work after Furlough for free, please visit www.softway.com/lm-furlough-ebook-1 .
Book Review by: Theresa R. Fianko