We had a fantastic HR Power Hour this morning. I was joined by Liz Walkley from Empowering Insights. We talked all things strategic, and dealing with change in the very best way possible for your business and bringing the employees with you. One of the big focuses that came out of it was “not forgetting about the survivors”. This is key whether you are talking about a redundancy process, or for the past 12 months, those staff who haven’t been furloughed and who have been working tirelessly and may well be almost at burn-out.
All too often we focus on the perceived victims of an employment law process but not about the other employees affected – this includes managers and HR teams! Its enshrined in the legislation, that consultation on such processes should be with all “affected employees”. Over the years we have interpreted this as those who are directly affected, but it isn’t so narrow. I am calling it survivor burn-out and it’s a very real thing. What is more it can be so damaging to mental wellbeing, staff moral and also business success. It is simply not worth forgetting about.
We had an interesting discussion at the end of our session this morning about what this looks like – how do you check in with your survivors to check they are ok, and how do you help them if they are not? Clearly, there is no one size fits all but ideas include – just calling them for a catch-up, sending a thank you gift, thanking them, providing them with an opportunity to explore feelings via an external party, coaching sessions (I can personally recommend Liz for this!), online yoga class subscriptions, setting up social groups at work (we have cycling, gardening and parenting groups at Geldards!), re-creating that sense of community that we have all lost a bit in the last 12 months and most of us have missed, but don’t force it on everyone. As many people as will come skipping back into the office when they are aloud, there will be the same number who are worried, concerned or who just don’t want to, and are happy in their own little lockdown bubble. Being sensitive to these differing approaches is key.
So, top tips:
1. Do something
2. Carefully tailor what you do based on your employees and experience
3. Train your managers in these softer skills – not many businesses do and you are missing a trick (we can help with this)
4. Consider external resources for coaching for your staff (particularly senior bods) – Liz is brilliant at this.
Strategic thinking is key and investing a little in the short term will bring back the bacon long term!