An effective reboarding experience should re-familiarize your returning colleagues with your company, bring them up-to-speed on relevant changes, integrate them back into the culture of your workplace and empower them to get back to ‘business-as-usual’ as quickly as possible.
But reboarding after COVID-19 brings with it a unique set of challenges, particularly in regards to your team’s fears, anxieties and expectations.
So, what attitudes are you most likely to see?
Each employee will have had their own distinct experience during lockdown and how you handle each scenario will dictate how they respond to being back on board. Some of your staff may have been placed on temporary leave, so empathetic, structured communication is going to be crucial for them.
On the other hand, you will have people who can’t wait to get back to their desk and leaning into that positivity will be key to their momentum.
So without further adieu, let's explore the 6 profiles you’re most likely to encounter when staff return to work post-COVID!
Erin is OVER lockdown.
She has genuinely missed her colleagues - there are only so many Zoom hangouts one person can handle after all. She is really excited to be back in the office and will be a force of positivity.
If you can capitalize on Erin’s energy, she’ll be a big asset to have on your side, and will inspire other team members to be a little more ‘glass-half-full’.
Woo_ Erin loves positive leadership. She wants to hear about all the GOOD things that are happening and how she can be involved in any fun initiatives.
Woe_ Erin can’t stand roadblocks. She doesn’t mind the COVID restrictions, but she wants to focus on how to make that big meeting happen, not all the reasons why it can’t.
Finlay was temporarily laid-off during COVID.
And he’s not pleased about it. He’s likely struggling with feelings of inadequacy and may have gone a little stir-crazy with nothing to do throughout the lockdown.
You can win Finlay back with honest, transparent communications and a big helping of empathy that lets him know that he is truly valued. Positivity is great here, but don’t let it ring false, as this will only make things worse for Finlay.
Woo_ Finlay loves a project. He is ready to dive right back into work and immerse himself in what he’s good at.
Woe_ Finlay can’t stand being kept in the dark. He wants to know exactly what the post-COVID plan is and what part he will play.
She’s worried about her and her family’s health and, in a broader sense, of the global effect of COVID-19. She has coped well with remote work and doesn’t see a need to rush back to the office.
Ease Faye’s fears by developing robust health and safety guidelines and ensuring they are adhered to. Try to check-in with her a little more often too - she’ll need it.
Woo_ Faye loves a good plan. If something is going to happen, she’s a big believer in doing it once and doing it right. And reboarding is no exception.
Woe_ Faye can’t stand rules without consequences. She doesn’t see the point. If someone doesn’t adhere to COVID safety guidelines, she wants to know there will be follow-through.
Helen isn’t exactly thrilled to be back.
But neither is she upset, she just hopes things work out well. She’s been comfortable with remote work, but she is looking forward to reconnecting with her team.
You can score some major points with Helen during this period by exceeding her expectations and blowing her away with your organized approach. If you succeed, Helen may even become an ‘Excited Erin’.
Woo_ Helen loves to be proven wrong. She’s actually an optimist at heart and while she may not be a vocal supporter of your efforts, she wants to be convinced.
Woe_ Helen can’t stand false promises. If you win Helen over by promising more than you can deliver, then you’ll lose her trust. For good.
Glen is not pleased.
He LOVED working from home and is dreading a return to the office. Perhaps he enjoyed spending time with the kids or just appreciated the extra flexibility.
Whatever is it, you need to think about how to re-engage Glen and remind him why he loves working for you. You also may need to make some compromises to get the most out of Glen in the future.
Woo_ Glen loves a healthy work/life balance. Remote work has been great for him as he’s been able to design his schedule to suit.
Woe_ Glen can’t stand distractions. He likes to hone in and focus on a task, and in fact, being away from the hustle & bustle of the office has seen Glen’s productivity sky-rocket.
Learn how to effectively communicate with each profile in our deep-dive guide! Download the guide
He made the decision during lockdown to find another job. Maybe he didn’t appreciate your company’s COVID-19 approach, or perhaps he was simply ready to move on and this was just the push he needed.
Whatever the case, Jamie is actively looking for a new role. So you can either fight for him, facilitate a graceful exit, or ignore the situation entirely. Top tip: Don’t ignore the situation entirely...
Woo_ Jamie loves to be challenged. There’s nothing better than that sense of pride, accomplishment, and self-confidence that comes from sinking your teeth into something new.
Woe_ Jamie can’t stand stagnation. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.
Remember, no-one can be boiled down to a single stereotype. Some of your staff will borrow from 2 or 3 different personalities, some might even cover the whole spectrum!
So, let yourself be guided by the personas, but use your common sense and make changes wherever appropriate.
Want the full picture? Download the in-depth Reboarding players guide today for a deep-dive on how to communicate with each profile!