From education to employment

Training expert shares top tips for heading back to work

Richard Thomas, Training and Development Manager at Skern Lodge

Worthwhile and well proven approach to getting the best out of employees who have been working from home or furloughed during the recent months 

Devon-based Skern Lodge, a leading outdoor training provider, works with businesses around the country – particularly on apprenticeship schemes – on team building and challenge based activities and programmes.

Here, Training and Development Manager, Richard Thomas shares the benefits of an alternative approach to how the nation’s employees can make their return to the office as easy and rewarding as possible after lockdown:

As lockdown continues to ease and workforces start heading back into the office, there will be changes 

Many businesses are now gearing up to reopen their premises and resume some form of normality after closing their doors for months – but returning to work can pose challenges for staff adapting to the ‘new normal’. 

These might be difficult for people transitioning from furlough or working from home, so the best way to start is to be positive and open-minded. Look at it as a unique opportunity to reset goals and set new challenges for the benefit of employees and ultimately the wider business 

It may be that you’ve done things a certain way for a few years, so use the opportunity to redefine the ‘new normal’ as a time to look afresh at what you do and how it can be improved. 

You can also use the shared experience of lockdown to reconnect with work colleagues. Be re-energised together by setting new targets and look forward to new challenges and projects.  

Another great way to help motivate and inspire is by taking part in challenges and activities, all with clear learning outcomes, which may push employees out of their comfort zone and open them up to a new way of thinking.

Stay fresh and motivated at work

Skern Lodge’s 44 years of helping employers and employees bond has given me and my staff a great insight into how people can stay fresh and motivated at work. 

We are all living through challenging times, but as the business world cranks up again, now is a great time for people to give detailed thought about a return-to-work plan:  

  • How will you get to work?
  • Will anything be different as you enter the building?
  • Who will be there?
  • Will you need to do things differently to get your job done?

The better your preparation, the more able you’ll be to face whatever life brings your way. 

And we should all remember that everyone will be finding their own path in the coming weeks and things might not always go to plan, so it’s important that we all understand each other’s challenges as we find our way.

Dealing with and managing these failures should be seen as an important step towards success, not as a negative.

Richard Thomas, Training and Development Manager at Skern Lodge

Skern Lodge specialises in a wide range of team-building activities for people and businesses, including kayaking, rafting, powerboating on the estuary or taking to the sea for surfing off the North Devon coast.

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