Have You Developed Your COVIDSafe Plan?

As Australia slowly starts to rebuild in the wake of the global pandemic, employers everywhere face some unprecedented dilemmas.

Social distancing measures are gradually being rolled back, allowing more people to get back to the physical workplace. Yet how do your staff feel about that? Are they eager? Anxious? Excited? Resistant? Do you feel confident you can keep them safe?

Our own client research reveals some interesting things. The good news – so far, so good, with an overwhelming tick for leaders who are reportedly keeping their staff informed, settled and safe. The bad news – many workers are still twitchy and ambivalent about resuming ‘work as usual’ in the public setting of the workplace.

How employers can build a bridge back to work

The federal government requires all businesses to have a COVIDSafe plan, which should be revised frequently as restrictions ramp up and down.

We’ve also developed a Return to Office Kit to help employers ease the worries of workers who are anxious about the risks they may be exposed to when returning to the workplace.

Validating their concerns is an essential step on the road back to normality. This will rebuild your team’s confidence and cement loyalty as well as offering them optimum protection.

Download our kit to ensure you comply with all appropriate regulations – and facilitate a smooth transition back to the workplace, with safe working conditions and engaged staff.

Our client survey reveals uncertainty about next steps

We’ve collated the feedback from a team survey recently conducted among our clients – and it’s very instructive.

We asked workers to respond to a number of separate statements concerning their leaders’ performance and a flagged return to work.

Results show the majority of workers feel their leaders have put up a good show during the pandemic. This means they’ve communicated well, kept the team together through remote working, remained accessible and regularly checked in with staff to make sure they’re okay.

However, responses change dramatically when it comes to transitioning back to the workplace. Most employees seem unsure about travelling to work and resuming their pre-COVID positions at worksites.

There was also more disparity among workers when asked if they are looking forward to returning to the ‘office environment’, with the majority favouring a blend of remote and office working.

Workers appreciate leadership like never before

It’s been heartening to see how workers appreciate the solid leadership they’ve received during stressful times. We’ve been privileged to play a role in that leadership – and we’ve been learning all the way.

On leadership matters:

  • 98% agreed the leadership team had been “appropriately accessible” during the crisis.
  • 97.98% agreed their leaders were currently managing the pandemic response well.
  • 92% agreed they received “timely communications” from business during this time.
  • 91% agreed their manager regularly checked in on them.
  • 95% agreed they had remained connected as a team.
  • 93% agreed they knew where to raise concerns about the COVID-19 response.

However, there’s obviously work to do on employee confidence. As government restrictions ease, staff need ongoing reassurance that it’s safe to return to the physical workplace.

  • 43% agreed they were “looking forward to returning to work in the office environment”.
  • 47% agreed they were comfortable travelling to and from work sites under COVID-19 systems and procedures currently in place.

In fact, more than 60% expressed a wish to establish a ‘hybrid’ work model going forward – integrating both home and office-based working.

With events moving so fast, it’s a question of ‘watch this space’ for Australian businesses. So,  check in often for updates and don’t forget to download our free Return to Office Kit.

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