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As employees venture back to the workplace post-pandemic, employers must reconsider how to re-engage staff to help prevent high staff turnover, reduced productivity and low morale (@BreedonHr).

New ways of working have challenged businesses, meaning it has become increasingly important to ensure employees don’t feel isolated and they remain connected to a larger purpose on their return.

Since the pandemic started, HR specialists Breedon Consulting have had a surge of questions from employers needing advice on how to keep employees motivated and productive once their period of furlough or working from home has come to an end - be that part-time or full-time.

We know that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202% (Gallup), therefore, the team have outlined five key areas that businesses can focus upon to ensure staff remain confident and thrive.

Managing director of Breedon Consulting, Nicki Robson, said:

“Reintroducing either furloughed workers or those who have been used to working at home brings with it a new set of challenges.

“As workers have become accustomed to a different environment its extremely important to engage with them effectively on return to the workplace – the impact of this transition can be reduced by following our one-to-one advice.”

  1. Communicate the overall business strategy

It’s vital that on return to the workplace staff understand your business position and strategy clearly following the impact of Covid-19. It can be a worrying time for employees, with questions around how the business is performing and in turn how that may affect their position and flexibility.

Be transparent, communicate effectively any changes and share any future business plans or goals. This will directly correspond to how their role adds value within the wider commercial setting, and allow the employee to feel respected and involved.

  1. Relay role expectations and opportunities for progression

Outline clear responsibilities to staff, monthly expectations, and if appropriate, re-communicate clear KPIs - allowing performance to be measured effectively by both the business and individual. Communicate any career opportunities and consider providing training. This should help to re- establish motivation, clarity and confidence within the workplace.

  1. Have fun

After such a long period, it can be a daunting prospect to acclimatise to a sociable office environment and work alongside colleagues again. Ensure to put together a calendar of activities and events to aid an employee’s adjustment. Think about activities that will unite your team – perhaps a common interest. It will help boost team morale and can also provide a level of healthy competition in the workplace.

If members of staff are working from home – put in place Zoom socials or set aside time where teams can talk about things other than work.

  1. Create a safe space to share 

During the pandemic, employees faced many stresses including job security, health and safety. With so many employees becoming accustomed to the benefits from working from home – it was inevitable workers would start to require levels of flexibility and support. Create a safe space for employees to share any concerns or needs they may have on return to the workplace. Consider sending out anonymous surveys or creating a staff forum where workers feel able to share their worries.

  1. Adapt and update the working environment

Adapting to sitting at a desk daily when it’s become a norm to work from the comfort of your sofa could encourage a shift in how we perceive the office environment. Consider adding a ‘breakout’ area for individuals to work on laptops and ensure there is a space to eat lunch away from their desk. Factors such as increased interruptions and noise could be unsettling, so provide quiet areas for working. Also consider allowing employees to wear headphones if this wasn’t in your policy previously.

Breedon Consulting is offering free 15-minute consultations for employers to talk about how best to deal with re-engaging employees back into the workplace.  

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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

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FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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