When furlough ends it will bring some big changes for businesses.
But it opens up some good opportunities too. So how can you use this time positively?
Furlough ends next week, on 30th September, more than 18 months since it was first introduced. Although many will sadly face redundancy, others will be going back after a long period away. It’s undoubtedly going to be strange for everyone but it’s also a chance for a new start. The perfect time to refresh and start the autumn with renewed vigour.
The first few weeks will be a time for settling in; helping colleagues feel reassured and supported. It’s also important staff feel involved, rather than singled out, and a key part of what happens next.
How to reset your business after furlough
Organise a team away day
Bringing your team together in a neutral environment will act as a marker for the next phase in your business. It will also help your team regroup and strengthen bonds. Make the day a good blend of social activity, group work and strategy planning and consider hiring a facilitator to guide the day. Involve staff in designing the day and make sure you communicate a clear plan and timeline to action outcomes from the discussion.
Team behavioural profiling
Carrying out behaviour profiling can be invaluable after a period of major change. It will improve the way your team communicates, and increase understanding of different working styles. It will also foster a culture of support and understanding. This is particularly important if teams have new members or the business has pivoted as a result of the pandemic.
Refresh job descriptions
Although furloughed staff must return to work under the same terms and conditions, this is a good time to refresh job descriptions across the business. This might include recognising broader areas of responsibility, new working patterns, or whether job titles still reflect the nature of the role. This is could also be a good opportunity to consider staff for promotion or reward.
Look at team structures and processes
For so many businesses, the pandemic has highlighted the need for better working processes. Whether that is how you share files, update project status, report to managers or run team meetings. Get the team together to run through work flows and identify areas that need improvement. This may include shadowing staff to fully understand the problems they are experiencing and welcoming ideas for solutions. Ask yourself whether staff are sitting in the right departments and if systems are still fit for purpose.
Need some support?
The beginning of the year is a common time to set a new strategy but you can get ahead of the game if you start now. If you have any questions about how to support your business through this period, please get in touch to see how we can help.