Healing the divide between furloughed and non-furloughed employees

With one in four UK workers furloughed during the coronavirus crisis and the flexible furlough scheme having brought some workers back part-time in July, many organisations are now facing the tricky task of reuniting furloughed and non-furloughed employees together.

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There is now a divide between employees who have been furloughed and those who remained working throughout lockdown. When bringing these two groups back together, it’s essential that HR managers work through the issues they have and bring everyone together for the common cause.

Ideally any re-integration should actually have begun during furlough, with both furloughed and non-furloughed workers kept informed with regular virtual ‘stay in touch’ meetings. That way, furloughed workers feel less isolated from the organisation and non-furloughed workers can see their colleagues online, hear their concerns and recognise it’s no paradise.

Once both groups are back working together, support this re-induction into the organisation by buddying up furloughed and non-furloughed workers whether in the office or remotely. This is even more important if an employee has been assigned to a different department or role. This way, each worker can ask any questions as they arise, are supported and have the latest knowledge. A morning coffee chat is a great way to do this informally, whether remotely or in person. If resentments appear to be deeply set and are proving hard to shift, mediation can be an effective way to head off any long-term divide.

Source: HRzone

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