Don’t Burn That Bridge: Supporting Your Furloughed Workers in the Age of COVID-19

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The current global crisis has forced many organizations to furlough at least some of their employees for the foreseeable future. Though a difficult and unpopular decision, furloughs give businesses the ability to offer vital benefits to their employees — and hopefully retain talent until the economy begins to recover.

However, companies are battling numerous challenges throughout the process, most notably the risk of furloughed employees becoming disengaged or losing trust in the company. Digital water coolers like social media and chat platforms make it easy for bad news or gossip to circulate before a furlough is announced or as it takes place. Businesses are also beholden to various legal policies and regulations regarding how they can interact with furloughed employees.

So, how can leaders effectively communicate and keep valuable individuals engaged before, during, and after a furlough takes place? Here are three best practices for HR and communications professionals to keep in mind when implementing a furlough in uncertain times.

1. Show, Don’t Tell, Your Support for Employees

A furlough announcement is never easy for those on the receiving end. If possible, allow direct supervisors to deliver the initial message so employees know and trust the source of information. Whether or not direct supervisors are the ones to deliver the initial message, make sure to equip them with the information they need, as they will be the source to which employees turn with questions. Distribute targeted communications and FAQs so managers have the information at their fingertips when employees inevitably come to them.

Also, make sure these communications are omnichannel and available everywhere employees consume information, from your intranet to your mobile app to the digital signage on your manufacturing floor. Consider making an information hub available on an external site, as a no-work policy may prevent furloughed workers from accessing company resources. Clear, consistent instructions will be key in helping the workforce adjust to and mobilize around rapid change. Read more here…

Original: – Daily Articles and News

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