As states gradually reopen, HR leaders are working overtime to ensure that workplaces are safe for everyone. The “new normal” will be different to what came before, and employees will understandably have lots of questions about what action has been taken. Communicate all the necessary information to returning employees with a Welcome Back letter.
WFH v The Workplace
These letters are tailored to employees who are required to be present at an actual workplace, at least most of the time. Remember that if possible it’s still advisable to allow remote work. The more employees who work remotely, the easier social distancing will be for those who can’t—which makes things safer for everyone. (Check out our infographic on social distancing at work.)
What Should a Welcome Back Letter Include?
By writing a Welcome Back letter, you’re able to address several important issues.
- Welcoming Employees Back!
- Detailing Any Changes You’ve Made
- Explaining What Employees Need to Do
- Letting Employees Know Where to Direct Questions
- Show Gratitude to Employees
Why not start out with some good news (we need it). Let your team know you’re happy to have them back.
There’s a lot business can do to make workplaces safer, though some strategies will vary by industry. At minimum, everyone will implement more thorough cleaning procedures and increase access to hand sanitizers.
To encourage social distancing, SMBs may stagger staff schedules and close off or limit access to certain areas. All businesses should consider investing in mental health resources, like access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Consult our guide to Mental Health At Work: Helping Employees Cope During COVID-19.
Keeping the workplace safe is a group project. Employees will need to follow new health and safety protocols. Social distancing will play a big part, and you may also want to create a workplace mask policy. Most importantly, give employees clear guidance on what to do if they feel ill—i.e., go (or better yet stay) home.
Your letter won’t cover all the bases. Let your team know who to contact with questions and encourage an open door policy.
Lastly, it’s good practice to let employees know that their hard work is appreciated. It’s an anxious time for everyone, at the very least people should know they are valued.?
If your Welcome Back letter contains all these elements, you’ll be off to a great start. Even better, combine it with a video from your CEO or HR leader. Don’t be scared of over-communicating—this is an anxious time for many and employees need to know that their safety is always being put first.
Get a Customizable Welcome Back Letter Template
To give HR leaders a head start, Paycor an HCM software provider, is sharing a letter you can use to welcome your employees back to work. It's packed with ideas that you can customize for the needs of your business.
Once downloaded, you can easily edit the language as required.
Get Coronavirus Return To Work Sample Letter
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