Addressing Return to Work Plans
While the initial choice might not have been theirs, many professionals now appreciate the flexibility and freedom associated with working from home.
As organizations map out their return-to-work plans, many employees are resistant to giving up their work-remotely arrangement.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 44% of people currently working from home want to continue working remotely because it suits them, and an additional 17% want to stay home because of coronavirus. That means approximately 61% of workers can be expected to push back on a return-to-work plan.
Leaders have the task of navigating these difficult return-to-work conversations with their team members. Not only must they effectively advocate on behalf of the organization, but they also must confront resistance while maintaining morale, engagement, and headcount.
The questions is, “How?”
To do so, leaders must be prepared with a specific set of skills. These include:
• Constructive Candor
• Persuasive Advocacy
• Influencing Skills
• Ability to Overcome Resistance to Change
• Emotional Intelligence
• Emotional De-escalation Skills
• Skills for Surfacing and Addressing Underlying Issues
Many of our clients are addressing this challenge head on through leadership development programs, such as our Discussing Returning to the Office workshop.
Other organizations are adopting other strategies including providing leaders with timely articles, informative videos, and inspirational messages from the C-suite. Some are issuing ultimatums to their employees…and doing so quite publicly.
Unfortunately, countless others are doing nothing, instead sending their unarmed leaders to the front lines, and hoping for the best.
Only time will tell which strategies will have best served their organizations, as well as which organizations fare best, retain their staff, and achieve their targets.