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transitioning back to work
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Retailer therapy: How you can help your team transition back to regular trading hours

There is a degree of optimism among retailers in the UK after emerging out of lockdown in April. That month, retail sales volumes jumped 9.2% month-on-month. Restrictions have eased, more shops are reopening their doors and consumers are returning in volume to the high streets for some much-needed retail therapy.

As customers gain back the confidence to go out and shop again, and you start to bring on more staff again, it’s important to remember that your employees may be feeling uncertain about returning to the workplace. The level of support you provide, along with the safety and hygiene practices you establish, will help soothe their concerns and boost their engagement ready to thrive back at work.

So, how can you help your team transition smoothly back to their regular working hours? Having a comprehensive plan will lay the ground for a culture where employees feel excited to return. After all, your team’s wellbeing is of the highest priority, and these tips will help you effectively manage increasing hours without putting your team at risk.

Stay serious about hygiene

As much as we’re all tired of hearing about practicing hygiene, it’s so important to ensure we don’t drop the ball with health and safety policies even as restrictions continue to ease. There are a few practices you can implement to help keep your team safe at work.

Check they are healthy when they arrive: Conduct health-related questionnaires before your employees step into the workplace. Roubler’s employee app allows you to ask your team questions about their health before clocking in.

Distribute cleaning tasks: Determine what frequent cleaning will need to be done to ensure appropriate hygiene in your workplace. Create a cleaning log as an active reminder to employees to maintain safe practices.

Use checklists: Creating checklists or posters as a visual reminder for your team before they start each shift will help remind them to follow correct procedures, every time.

Provide training: Give your team access to all the latest, updated health and safety policies via their employee app. This way they can keep up-to-date on any changes and ensure they follow all protocols in the workplace, giving everyone peace of mind.

Keep record of employee movements

It’s a good idea to keep track of your employees’ movements as an extra layer of security. This way, if an incident arises, you can trace the originals and act accordingly with haste.

Make use of a tracing app: The Covid-19 tracing app was created to help identify people who have been exposed to the virus. Asking your team to download and use this app will help everyone in the workplace stay safe.

Track movements in the workplace: Roubler can also generate a contact tracing report to help you know who worked, when, and at which location. This report will give you fast access to detailed information about your employees’ exposure to the virus and is an efficient way to help you stop the spread and minimise the impact on your business.

Schedule for safety

Before increasing the hours your team work, you need to ensure your staff rotas lead to a congestion-free workplace. The last thing you want is your team to feel unsafe at work due to a lack of social distancing.

Isolate in teams: You can help mitigate risk by grouping your employees into distinct teams, whose shifts do not cross over with those of other teams. This will mean each team interacts with fewer people, helping minimise exposure and enabling thorough cleaning in between shifts.

Use shift management software: Using the right scheduling software will help you track exactly who was working, when, making it easier to identify any team members who may have come into contact with any confirmed cases.

Drive employee wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is an integral part of keeping your team engaged at work. Returning from furlough earlier this year was no easy feat for any of them, and the sooner you can address their concerns, the sooner you can provide ongoing support to help them.

Conduct wellbeing surveys: Survey your team regularly to understand how they feel about returning to work and where they may be struggling.

Provide one-on-one support: When all or part of the team is working remotely, it can be particularly difficult to gauge whether your team is suffering in terms of their mental health. Spend time with each of your team members individually, stay alert for clues such as body language or sudden changes in their appearance, and make sure you ask them how they are coping.

Encourage the use of free local services: Ensure your team knows how to access support if they need it. Many organisations offer free over-the-phone help for anyone experiencing mental health issues.

Offer employee assistance programs: Many employers are offering free and anonymous counselling services to their employees, to help them with any mental health issues they may be experiencing.

Samantha Hill
Samantha Hill
Samantha Hill is a writer with a passion for making a positive impact online through words. Over the past four years, Samantha has worked with an array of different companies to deliver written content that communicates what their business means to their audience. Since joining Roubler in 2020, Samantha’s focus is on creating engaging content that informs business leaders of the latest skills, strategies, and techniques to help get the best out of their teams.
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