August 10, 2021

Returning furloughed employees to work

Before the pandemic, very few of us knew the meaning of furlough;
but it’s now commonly understood across workforces. A blessing and a challenge all at once, the furlough scheme has allowed so many businesses to continue operating. However, it’s meant that employers have had to develop their employee engagement strategy to cope with:

Successfully bringing people back from furlough requires a blend of practical and cultural intervention.

  1. Engage with employees on furlough prior to their return, to reassure them of their role’s integrity to the business.
  2. Have open conversations with employees who have kept on working and who have likely been picking up workload from furloughed colleagues. Whilst thanking them, now is the time to realign their job roles and ensure that everyone is clear on their responsibilities with a team that is returning to capacity.
  3. Arrange a formal briefing session, where your returning team members are brought up to speed on their job role, any changes to it and the current state of play with the business.
  4. Arrange for catch-ups between colleagues – and particularly
    peers – so that the team can bond once more, in sharing their own experiences, including those who have been out of the business and those who have been working. Listening and understanding each other’s points of view will allow people to move forward together again.
  5. Offer and advocate uptake of coaching and counselling sessions,
    to address any confidence issues. Remember that people who have been out of the business are likely to feel uncertain about their future and potentially about their importance to your organisation.

If you need any guidance, support or advice over this or any other HR issue call us on 07375 097443 or e-mail

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