The “Desperate Marketing Ploy of the Month Award” for April must go to the supplier of corporate gifts and freebies which emailed us recently with apparently unrepeatable discounts on those little tokens of your esteem and thanks which you could use to welcome your staff back to the office after furlough or lockdown.
These items included a desktop garden for those not already sick of being in the garden, the usual mugs and sweeties, plus (no doubt for those employers who want to “say it with flowers”), a your-name-here keyring in the shape of a cactus. Each an employee-engagement winner in its own little way, of course, but against the background of at least three more weeks’ lockdown and a month’s extension to the furlough scheme, surely all rather premature?
Not at all.
It is time now to start considering how you will get people back into the workplace because there are nearly as many vexed issues in bringing your employees back as there were in furloughing them in the first place. This is not just a question of their all pitching up on Monday and off you go. We have done some thinking around the sorts of practical issues which HR and Legal are likely to encounter in the slow return process. There are not always definitive right answers to these questions, but the sooner you start working on them, the better placed you will be to face the challenges which will undoubtedly arise.