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Coming out of lockdown

As we prepare to move into the next phase of coming out of lockdown, what do we need to do to be ready?

There are a few key areas that we need to look at to make sure we have everything in place for our Staff and Volunteers, whether they have been working from home or furloughed, we need to ask the three key questions;

How are they? Change of any sort is always stressful – and over the recent weeks we have all had to adapt quickly. As we return to work, we will need to continue to adjust to new ways of working, or new work. Take the time to talk to your people, make sure they get the emotional support that they need as well as finding out about practical arrangements. Ask if they are able to come back to work (They may be shielding or have childcare arrangements) and if they are confident to do so. As organisations we need to be very aware that we have a duty of care for our staff and volunteers.

What are they doing? As lockdown eases we may well be adapting to meet new needs, or to be working in different ways. Digital meetings are likely to continue to be the preferred way to work so if people can continue to work from home they may want to do so. If there are changes in what and how you work as an organisation you may want to move people into different roles. Do think about any skills or experience that people have that can be transferred into different roles, and any training that may be needed

What needs to change? There have been a raft of changes in legislation that will impact how you manage your staff and volunteers. Take enough time to update all your policies and procedures so that they are aligned with current law. You will need to review contracts to ensure that unused holiday can be carried forward; for anyone furloughed you will need to ensure that you have written agreements in place for your staff; Sickness and leave policies also need to be reviewed, as well as considering flexible working arrangements; if people continue to work from home make sure that Risk Assessments are in place, and your insurers informed of any changes.

People are the lifeblood of any organisation so, as well as getting all your systems in place to support them do remember to make sure that they know they are appreciated!