Political and business leaders are starting to talk about reopening the country for business. But, after months of being told to stay home and keep our distance from each other, how comfortable will we be re-entering the workplace? Will resuming more normal business operations be as simple as unlocking the doors and flipping a switch?
- During a recent meeting of the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, President Trump’s task force to reopen the economy, many business leaders said a dramatic increase in coronavirus testing is needed to make the public feel confident enough to return to work, eat at restaurants or shop in retail establishments.
- A CBS News poll found that 63% of Americans are more worried about restrictions lifting too fast and worsening the outbreak — than worry about lifting restrictions too slowly and worsening the economy.
- Many states are opting to keep schools closed until the next academic year, presenting many working parents with long-term childcare challenges.
- A study by the Pew Research Center revealed that older Americans are more likely to feel their own health is at risk, while younger people are more focused on potential economic threats.
What concerns will your workforce have? Will they be eager to come back to work or reluctant? Should temporary changes to your work-from-home policies be made permanent? What previously overlooked benefits helped employees cope?
A survey of your workforce could give you actual data to use in your decision making, leading to more effective outcomes and greater performance.
“Surveys really have a dual benefit for organizations,” said Aaron Van Groningen, senior organizational development and training consultant at Hicks-Carter-Hicks, LLC, a boutique firm that specializes in using surveys and assessments to help organizations enhance performance. “First, direct feedback from employees allows decisions to be made using data rather than guesses and hunches. Second, surveys communicate to employees that their opinions are valuable and important to the organization, which is positively associated with organizational commitment.”
Should You Conduct a Survey?
By replacing guesswork with data, surveys can help organizations use their time, energy and money more efficiently. And who doesn’t want that right now?
However, if your organization is not likely to heed the results of a survey, don’t do it. Asking your employees for their input and then appearing to ignore or disregard it could have a serious impact on their trust in the organization and their engagement.
What Should You Ask?
When crafting questions, consider how your organization responded to the pandemic and how your workers and workplaces were affected. Avoid infringing on employees’ privacy; steer clear of specific questions regarding personal health or circumstances. Also avoid asking employees to make comments they think will jeopardize their jobs, careers or income.
For some ideas, check out our brief “Return to Work” survey sample. Feel free to complete the survey or just peruse the questions.
If an employee survey is already part of your post-covid-19 return-to-work strategy, or if you’re looking for help designing and/or administering a survey, we’d love to hear from you.More Ideas