By Melissa Van

It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been and will continue to be, a transformative year. We have all had to quickly change how we live, work, and interact with the world around us, and have shared concerns about our safety, security and financial stability. These concerns are top of mind as companies shift their focus to reopening physical locations in ways that ensure their employees are safe and supported, while adjusting their strategies and business processes to keep their businesses moving forward.

We talk about “going back to work,” but the reality is, we’re not going back to the way things used to be. We are all going to have to learn how to operate in a New Normal that may be very different from what we are used to. The companies that succeed and thrive in this world will be the organizations that realize that they must change, adjust, and adapt.

Businesses are looking for readiness tools that communicate to employees that they are prepared to reopen, while also preparing each employee to do his or her part. They also need to be agile and communicate a clear path forward. This comprehensive approach to Reboarding teams can chart a path through the New Normal, instill confidence in employees and help businesses move forward.

Many companies have been communicating to employees throughout the crisis about changes to benefits, policies and expectations. And at this point companies have spent weeks, if not months, planning to reopen – thinking of everything from safety measures like temperature screenings to managing shared office spaces to making temporary virtual teams permanent.

Now it is time to make sure employees have the information they need to safely return to the office – what’s changed, what’s still the same and what’s likely to evolve over time. Employees need to know what the company is doing to keep them safe and the behaviors expected of them to help protect everyone. Leaders and managers need know how best to support their teams and hold them accountable. And everyone needs to become comfortable with a new world that may not look exactly like the one they remember.

Additionally, parts of companies will have altered business processes or safety precautions specific to their work. Leaders and employees in these areas need to have targeted training to prepare them for these changes.

At PDG we’re working with clients to identify their unique needs and helping them create Reboarding Learning Frameworks to address these needs. In some cases, companies are requiring employees to complete “Reopening Basics” training before returning to work.

Download our free Reboarding Prioritization Tool
The New Normal will be a moving target for quite some time. Plans are necessary, but those plans need to be agile and flexible. As we move through the different phases of the economy reopening, businesses will need to adjust their Reboarding policies and practices. Companies with agile Reboarding Frameworks that build in measurement and refinement will be positioned to quickly pivot and ensure employees are prepared for the changes.

Clear Path Forward
Employees, customers, and stakeholders want to know their companies are moving in a definite direction. Companies have had to rethink their 2020 business plans and longer-term strategies. To the degree possible, Reboarding Frameworks should communicate these changes and how employees can help achieve new company objectives. In this difficult time, everybody wants to contribute; their businesses need to make it clear to them exactly how they can do that.

The Leader’s Role
As with any major organizational change, leaders and managers play a crucial role in companies reopening. Leaders need tools specific to these roles to communicate how to support employees, how to hold them accountable, and where to go for help.

In these unprecedented times, companies can rely on proven techniques to help guide them. Just as company-specific Learning Frameworks for needs such as onboarding and leadership training help maximize results and the impact of those efforts, Reboarding Learning Frameworks can help a company support its employees, communicate expectations and drive the business forward.

Succeeding in the New Normal
The companies that succeed in the New Normal will be those who acknowledge the change, plan for a revised future, and prepare to rapidly adapt with a changing landscape. The companies that will struggle will be those who fight the change, try to rapidly return to “the way things were,” and refuse to acknowledge the way the world has shifted—or those who simply stand still. Nobody wants to undertake a journey with an outdate map. What will your journey look like?

Interested in learning more? Download our recent panel discussion webinar. Executive leaders from GlaxoSmithKline, McKinsey & Company, and Ralph Lauren, discussed Reboarding and how to create a new normal for your organization.