The Return to Work: Safe and Efficient Company Culture Building
Many around the country, and specifically within the insurance industry, are preparing for a return to work, a reestablished office life and some semblance of how we operated before this pandemic began. I think most of us wish things would go back to what we were all familiar and comfortable with, and operations might, but it will take time.
During this period of recovery and the regrowth of our economy, there are steps we all can take to make the return to the office a more comfortable adjustment, while also maintaining the professional, mental and physical wellness of all those who work very hard to make this industry what it is.
Provide access to your employees and, as often as you can, address any issues they might have directly. I don’t know about you, but in the past two months of news and constant updates, often seeing the same information and receiving the same message over and over, a frank conversation or direct letter or message is a breath of fresh air. It lets someone know you’re there, that you hear them and that you care about their well being, personally and professionally.
Planning Builds Confidence
Also, if you have actionable plans for a return to work, communicate those ahead of time. Allowing employees within your firm the time it takes to make adjustments for a smooth return will reduce the stress associated with this transition. A detailed process and well-established guidelines communicate that you’ve put your team first and taken every consideration for their well being. Having strategies, contingencies and protocols in place will allow you to efficiently respond to employee difficulties and concerns, making the very most of your resources. Also, not all businesses or service providers are opening at the same rate, such as transportation and childcare. Maintaining a flexible stance on these factors, largely out of employee control, is a fantastic way to illustrate that you are sympathetic and dedicated to them, not just as productive workers, but as people.
Embracing New Capabilities
While the remote working environment may not have been widely embraced before, COVID-19 has drastically altered the professional landscape since. More specifically, it has shown many companies within the insurance industry just how much they were capable of outside the office. I enjoy going to work and the office environment myself, but others have proven to be exceptionally productive working from home. The return to work will provide many offices and firms the opportunities to blend previous and current work styles, ultimately letting the results speak for themselves.
Vigilance is Part of Being Healthy
The return to work in the office, or out in the wider world, is an opportunity to build a recovering economy better prepared to deal with what we all just went through. Really, it boils down to just continuing to actively practice common-sense measures that not only protect our teams and their families but the world at large. We need to keep common places and communal objects clean, as well as maintain the habitual washing of hands—all things we should have been doing in the first place.
Most of these actions and precautions are just ways to show you understand, you care and that you consider every member of your firm, agency or company to be invaluable. Creating a company culture where every team member is essential is a place anyone would want to help grow.
The James Allen Companies is your partner in insurance talent delivery. Together we can return to work stronger than ever before.