Author Archives: Caroline Cooper

How can we learn from mistakes?

learn from mistakes

Learning from mistakes

Last weekend we watched the film “Sully”, the story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River.

I think there are many lessons we can take from this story, ones of leadership, and going the extra mile for customers, amongst others.

But the lesson I want to focus on today is about learning from mistakes.

If you know the story, you will know that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) initially claimed pilot error, based on simulations of the lead up to the landing. Whilst watching the film it seemed so unfair to be making this accusation.

But, if there is one thing the aviation industry does well, it’s to learn from mistakes. Any mistake can cost lives, so for any mistake or near miss they always do an in-depth analysis to avoid it happening again.

This principle doesn’t just apply to airlines. In any business there are times when things don’t go according to plan or mishaps happen, albeit maybe not with quite such serious consequences.

Can we really learn from these mistakes?

Well, yes. Providing we’re able to spot the mistake, make an effort to understand the mistake and be open to learning from it.

Rather than dwelling on the negatives, reflect on what you and the team have learnt from these events.

Here are 6 ideas to help you and your team to learn from mistakes and reduce the likelihood of a repetition.

Making the transition

When someone is doing a task for the first time sometimes the only way to really hone new skills and develop true competence is once applied on the job. But if people are fearful of getting it wrong, they will be reluctant and will never get the chance to perfect their skill.

We shouldn’t expect perfection straight away. People need time to practise and find their own way of doing things, and not be afraid to make the odd mistake so long as they learn from it. Recognise and reward as they improve, even if things are not yet perfect.

Trust

Demonstrate your trust in your team members by giving them responsibility and authority to do what they believe is right. E.g. to respond to customers’ expectations and requests in the way that they see fit.

Define what levels of authority they have in any given situation, and give them examples of when they need to refer to a manager or get sign off, and when it’s OK for them to make the decision.

If and when you do have to get involved, use this as an opportunity for others to learn from the situation, by explaining your approach and why you approached it in the way you did.

Near misses

It can be easy to dismiss a near miss; no harm done.

This time…

Unless these get reported, they may be an accident waiting to happen. So encourage your team to be open about reporting potential problems and what could go wrong.  Listen to flush out potential risky situations. Have a process in place which makes this quick and easy.

Then agree what steps you can take to avoid them or minimise their impact.

Unless followed though promptly they won’t bother telling you next time.

Aim v blame

People are often afraid to report mistakes in case they are going to be blamed or reprimanded in some way. But, a failure to report and deal with problems promptly not only leads to frustrations, and later accusations of whose fault it is, but could cost you dearly in the long run if it causes long-term damage.

Encourage your team to be open about any mistakes, whether they are the cause or not.

Get people into the habit of looking for solutions rather than trying to blame others. Asking “what can I do to improve the situation?” “What’s in my control?” Rather than focusing on what’s gone wrong, or seeing it as a failure.

Own up

Admit when you’ve made a mistake – when you’re open about making mistakes your team will recognise that everyone makes mistakes. But, make sure you also focus on what’s been learnt as a result of that mistake.

(See also The Emotional Bank Account https://www.naturallyloyal.com/the-emotional-bank-account/)

Culture

Foster a supportive culture, where it’s okay to ask questions and admit you don’t know all the answers, where you’re encouraged to seek out new activities and it’s accepted that people won’t always get things right.

Give supportive feedback, and help people see their own mistakes, as well as encouraging them by pointing out what’s gone well. A culture where it’s OK to speak up if you think something isn’t up to standard; where people won’t take offence if someone suggests a better way of doing something.

Create a culture where it’s accepted that mistakes happen, the important thing is to learn from them and prevent the same mistake happening again.

Take action

If you only do one thing: The next time you or any of your team make a mistake use it as an opportunity to learn from it and move on.

Today’s top tip

Book recommendation: Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed.

An inspiring book about how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes, by understanding and overcoming failures and demonstrates how even marginal gains all contribute to success.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Box-Thinking-Surprising-Success/dp/1473613779

 



Celebrate

celebrateTime for celebration?

If you’re anything like me, you love having an excuse to celebrate. I have three things to celebrate today. Firstly, I am being taken out to lunch; my first time eating out since October. Secondly, I have a hair appointment; I know I’m not the only one celebrating some trivial events! Goodbye grey hair and wonky fringe. Last, but not least, it’s my 36th wedding anniversary today.

Marking a special occasion is a perfect way to engage with both customers and team members. Recognising a personal milestone, proud moment or a significant event shows you care.

Success

If you’ve recently reopened or are preparing to reopen, celebrate your team coming back to work: share with them and celebrate any changes you’ve made in the business over the past year.

Celebrate what’s gone well so far, so everyone gets the recognition they deserve for the effort that’s gone into reopening. It’s easy to get wrapped up in activity, but take a step back to see how far you’ve come, and create a buzz for the day, week and month ahead!

Continue to set mini goals so you and your team all see some quick wins, and keep the momentum going.

The anniversary of….

Mark anniversaries, both business and personal

  • the date each of your team members joined your business
  • the start of your customer/client’s business
  • a customer becoming a customer
  • past awards you’ve won
  • special events or milestones in your business, such as the start of your business

Proud moments

What’s been happening in the lives or your team members (and customers) to warrant celebration?

  • The birth of a child or grandchild
  • Any charitable achievements however minor
  • Learning a new skill; many of your team may have picked up new skills whilst being away from the business.
  • Anniversaries – look back at the events you held in previous years: what anniversaries are coming up?

New developments

What changes have you made to the business during lockdown? New products and services, refurbishments, new team members. Share and celebrate these with your team and customers. If nothing else, celebrate the fact that you are open!

Better late than never

Lastly don’t forget all those postponed events – many of which would have been to celebrate a special occasion. Even if people can’t celebrate with you, the date should still be marked and celebrated in some way.

Celebrations don’t need to be lavish. What’s more important is that they are sincere and relevant to those you are congratulating.

Recognise that whilst some people love the limelight, others hate it. Sometimes a quiet “congratulations and well done” is all that’s needed and will have more impact than any razzmatazz announcement.

If you only do one thing: Find a reason, however small, to raise glass and drink a toast with your team.

Related Articles:

Lessons in Loyalty  https://www.naturallyloyal.com/2015/05/

Recognising your team (video)


Building Confidence

building confidenceBuilding confidence with team members as they return to work

As your team return to work, you may need to do some confidence building. If they’ve been on furlough or working from home for some time, the may need some reassurance once they return, either to their old duties, or new tasks which are now part of their role.

Whether it’s because they’ve not done something for a while, or you’re introducing something new or a different way of doing things is bound to feel a bit clunky to begin with.

And when you need to make changes to the way they do things it takes even longer to get used to the new way.

Human nature says we’ll always take the path of least resistance, so the slightest obstacle will send people back to their old comfortable way of doing it.

However, sometimes there can be a real reluctance even to have a go. There might be a number of reasons for this. But often it’s just down to a lack of confidence, especially if the new way of doing things involves a degree of risk or difficulty, at least from the employee’s perspective.

And longer term a lack of confidence will stop them getting on with tasks off their own bat, which can be both frustrating and draining for you, and have a knock on effect for colleagues and customers alike.

Here are 7 ways you can build confidence in your team members, and prevent this happening in your team:

1. Play to people’s strengths.

It’s a lot easier for you to allocate responsibility for tasks where people already excel, and the likelihood is when they are good at that task they’ll be confident and probably enjoy it.

You might need to look for the capabilities in others that they themselves may not see and help them to see these for themselves. Focusing on strengths not only boosts confidence, it enables people to shine and excel. It means complementing potential shortcomings of others in the team, contributing unique value in the eyes of colleagues and customers.

That doesn’t mean to say you don’t develop people in other areas, but avoid the temptation to make everyone mediocre at everything.

2. Establish expectations

People hate not fully understanding what’s expected of them; it can leave them hesitant and fearful of making mistakes.

It’s inevitable that some ways of working and duties will have changed. If there are duties that used to be part of their role that are now less of a priority, explain why this is. If these were tasks they did well or took a particular pride in doing, be sensitive to how you handle this, so they don’t get the impression that their previous efforts were not appreciated.

If it’s a new task ensure they understand the significance of the task, and set a clear and simple objective, and what controls such as budget, deadline, when and how any review will take place. Bear in mind, it may take them longer to begin with as people get into the task.

3. Empower

People soon pick it up if you don’t trust them or are reluctant to allocate any responsibility to them, leaving them doubting their own abilities.

Demonstrate trust by letting go. No one wants their boss breathing down their neck the whole time, and it’s frustrating for everyone when team members have to get sign off for everything.

Cut the red tape and give your team the freedom to do what they think is in the best interests of the customer.

Set clear boundaries so they understand the exceptions and when you really do need to be involved.

3. Give flexibility

Allow each of your team to adapt and adopt their own style and let them bring their own personality to the role, particularly when dealing with customers.

If they know the end result you’re looking for they often come up with better ways to get the same result.

4. Develop ‘experts’

Give ownership for areas that require specialist knowledge, so this team member becomes the go to person for this. When individuals have one or two areas to focus on specifically it encourages them to go deeper and develop their expertise, and encourages continuous improvement. This in turn can have an impact on your customer experience, when specific knowledge is required to gain the customer’s confidence.

This is not only good for people’s development it also helps the team respect other’s roles and share the burden.

5. Reassure

Let them know you are there to support them, and to come to you with later question, concerns or suggestions. Reassure them of your commitment to their safety and ongoing support.

Encourage your team by assuring them that they have the skills and knowledge. If you really are unsure of somebody’s ability to deliver what’s needed reflect on what help and support they would need in order to achieve this and focus on that instead.

Build confidence by providing positive feedback and recognition. Offer plenty of support and encouragement.

6. Learn from mistakes

When things go wrong this can knock people’s confidence. Foster a supportive culture where people can learn from their mistakes, rather than be blamed.

Encourage everyone to come forward when things haven’t gone to plan, or when there’s been a near miss. Then focus on how to avoid this happening again, not just for that team member, but for anyone else in the team.

Ask your team member(s) for their suggestions. Nine times out of ten they’ll work out for themselves the best way to avoid a repercussion.

Recognise when any improvements are made, even if things are not yet perfect!

7. Celebrate and reward success

Celebrate success so you encourage more of the same.

Establish regular opportunities and events to enable others to share their successes and achievements. This could be as simple as daily briefings where individuals talk about their successes and what others can learn from these, but add more weight to this by publicly recognising their success e.g. sharing achievements with your guests or entering them for awards.

Highlight how individual contributions have had a positive impact on the business as a whole. Recognise and reward individuals, departments or the team as a whole to demonstrate how you value their successes.

In summary

Building confidence in your team starts by demonstrating your trust. Empower individuals and the team by giving them authority to make decisions and take action. Generate a climate of confidence by drawing attention to the strengths of the team and individuals and where they complement one another rather than dwelling on shortcomings.

Related content

Blog: Learn from mistakes 

Video: How people learn

LinkedIn share

 


Resourceful states

resourceful statesHow unresourceful & resourceful states influence employee engagement

When you get home from work can you normally sense what sort of mood everyone else’s in? Even when no words are spoken it’s usually pretty easy to tell. Our moods and emotions are usually evident to others from our behaviours, facial expressions and tone.

Certain emotions or unresourceful states will inevitably have a knock-on impact on everyone around us – family, friends, colleagues and customers alike. Such as worried, angry, bored, frustrated, resistant, confused, irritated, flustered, tired, impatient or distracted.

When you, your team – any of us – are in these unresourceful states, if faced with challenges the tiniest problem can lead us to frustration or aggression; the slightest failure can lead to disappointment, blame or self-doubt; a hint of rejection can lead to anger or defensiveness.

If you want your team to be: enthusiastic, flexible, motivated, interested, confident, energetic, happy, welcoming, and friendly this has to start with you.

And from a position of these resourceful states we can more readily find solutions to problems, learn from our failures and bounce back from rejection.

On the Fresh Start session I ran last week we discusses this in the context of helping your team feel positive about returning to work.

Here’s an exercise I shared with the group which might work for you too….

3 x 3

Grateful

At the start of the day write down 3 things which you are grateful for, however major or minor they may be.

Get done

Secondly write down 3 things you must get done today. These are the things that above all else you must complete, even if it’s just making one phone call to progress a project.

Achieved

At the end of the day reflect on your day and write down 3 things you’ve achieved, however small.

Do these 3 small activities every day, and see if they help make you feel good about yourself and the world. Writing them down helps bring these things into your conscious awareness.

Take action

If you only do one thing try this simple exercise for the week ahead and see for yourself if it works for you!

Related articles: One bad apple

Video: Influencing employee attitude


Reopening your business

reopening

Very best of luck if you are reopening your business today or this week and you’re welcoming back customers. I’m not sure which I’m more excited about… Going to the pub or getting my hair cut!

Of course, this is good news for your team too, and the first steps to getting back to some kind of normality.

But this is just the beginning, and what you can learn from these first few days back will stand you in good stead as your team (and customers) return over the coming weeks.

Here are 7 tips to help this go smoothly with your reopening.

1. Tune in

Keep your ears and eyes open and observe your team in action. See for yourself what’s working and what’s not. But, just as importantly, look out for any signs of stress, friction amongst the team, or where things aren’t running smoothly.

2. Talk to your customers

Capture feedback from your customers. Find out what they loved (so you can do more of the same) and what was confusing, disappointing or made them feel uncomfortable, so you can address these. Do this now while their emotions are still running high from their experience.

Many of your customers may be new, visiting you for the first time. Get them engaged to increase the likelihood of a return visit. Follow up with them to show you appreciate their business, and use this as an opportunity to let them know what you have planned for the weeks ahead.

3. Thank You

Show you appreciate your team. Thank them for any extra hours or effort they’ve put in to make your opening a success.

A thank you and an acknowledgement of a job well done is far more sincere if you’re specific about what you’re recognising. So, say what it is about their actions that you appreciate. It might be spotting them doing something that shows you they’ve made an extra effort, helped a colleague, gone out of their way to help a customer, or used their initiative to get over a challenge.

4. Team feedback

Ask for feedback from your team members. Involve everyone in your review process as they’ll often be aware of things you’ve missed.

Ask 3 questions:

  • What went well for them?
  • What didn’t work and needs attention tomorrow, next week or with phase 2 of reopening?
  • What did they find difficult or where they struggled to meet customers’ expectations?

Accept feedback with good grace, and thank them for an honest response, and agree how you will address any concerns.

5. Near misses

It’s inevitable not everything will have gone according to plan or mishaps happened. Review the things that have not gone so well. Listen to your team and flush out any other potential risky situations, particularly if they have the potential to impact the team or customer service.

Rather than dwelling on the negatives, reflect on what you and the team have learnt from these events.

Even if you think it was a one off and unlikely to happen again your team might be aware of other ‘near misses’ or situations that are almost an accident waiting to happen!

Agree what steps you can take to avoid them or minimise their impact, so they are confident they will be better prepared next time!

6. Celebrate and share successes.

Celebrate what’s gone well and create a buzz for the day, week and month ahead!

Continue to set mini goals so you and your team all see some quick wins, and keep the momentum going.

7. Play from a 10

The way you feel emotionally will influence the feelings of people around you.

Being confident, enthusiastic and energetic might not always rub off on everyone else, but if you’re not, you can’t really expect your team to be either!

Take Action

If you only do one thing – take some time out this week to sit down with your team and reflect what lessons you can take from the first few days of reopening.



What’s going on?

team briefings

Team briefings. Your chance to keep your team in the loop.

Things change daily in your business and no one in your team wants to look unprepared or be caught unawares.

This might be something as simple as a product or service which isn’t available, so customers end up being disappointed. Perhaps it’s a particular customer who has special requirements, who might need some specialist treatment or VIP attention. Or it could be something completely out of your team’s control, such as roadworks or severe weather, but that impacts customers.

Whatever the reason, your team need to be in the know. What’s happening and what you’re doing to add value for customers, or offering to minimise any negative impact.

So just how do your team members get kept abreast of what’s happening day to day in your business which can have an impact on them and your customers?

In our haste to get on with the day ahead it’s tempting to rely on notice boards or email. But there’s a problem with this… they are limited to one way, and no opportunity to question or clarify. You lose the ability to judge people’s reactions, or even know for sure it has been read.

A simple 10 minute “Buzz Briefing” at the start of each day or shift plugs this gap.

As the name suggests it’s your opportunity to create a buzz for the shift or day ahead.

It’s your chance to update everyone on anything that affects that day’s operation. Plus, it’s your opportunity to get feedback from your team on things that need attention, to answer their questions, or listen to their ideas.

So, even on your busiest mornings make sure these briefings still happen – it’s generally on the days that are your busiest that things go wrong, and in many businesses it’s on your busiest days when you have the best opportunities for increasing sales.

Take action

If you only do one thing. Next time you have an important message to share with the team gather everyone round and deliver the message in person rather than sending a blanket email. Notice what happens when you deliver the message in person and encourage a two way dialogue.

Related posts: Someone could have told us

Someone could have told us

 

 

 


Redefining your purpose

defining your purpose

Redefining your purpose so everyone is aligned

As you prepare for team members to return to work, remind people of your purpose.

Bear in mind, some of them may not have seen one another for the whole of the lockdown. You may even have new people in your team who haven’t met anyone yet.

So it will important for you to take steps now to bring the team together, and ensure when they return that everyone is aligned.

One area to start is by reminding people of your purpose, and theirs.

People perform better when they feel a sense of belonging, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to have a shared purpose. As a lot’s changed in the last 12 months, so it’s possible your vision, mission, or values have shifted.

Even if this isn’t the case, remind your team of your purpose, and by doing this collectively you know that everybody has had the same message.

In the lead up to opening, you’ll also have some immediate goals and priorities. If you let everyone know now what these are, and how they contribute to them, it means they can be more prepared for them as and when they return. This enables everybody to be working towards the same goals and targets from the outset.

When we think of purpose we might only think about the impact on the world. But Daniel Pink talks about two types of purpose. Purpose with a small p is making a contribution in the job. When people understand their own purpose or the part they play in your business as a whole, they are more likely to come forward with ideas and input. Your team will often have a different perspective, so give them a voice, which in turn gains buy in and helps them feel valued.

Take action

If you only do one thing: Prior to people returning from furlough or working from home, share your key priorities and focus for the next few weeks so everyone in your team is aligned.

Today’s top tip

Always welcome your team’s ideas, thoughts and suggestions for anything that might save time, improve your customers’ experience, or make their lives easier, however minor.

One percent improvement in 1,000 things is better than 1,000% improvement in one thing. Tom Peters

Getting buy-in blog

Giving your team a sense of purpose video


Maintain a team spirit and have some fun as a team

Maintain a team spirit

If your team are on furlough or working from home it’s still important to maintain a team spirit. One of the things we discussed on my webinar last week was the importance of still doing things together as a team to keep the team spirit alive, and make it easier once everyone is back together in the same space to work as a team.

In the same way that you might under normal circumstances, don’t let the lockdown prevent you from doing things together as a team.

There are plenty of activities you can do online, where people can work as a team. Anything from quiz nights to virtual escape rooms, horseracing, cocktail masterclasses, wine tastings, etc.

Whatever you do, the focus should be on having some fun with colleagues. If there’s some relevant learning to be had as a result (such as wine tasting), so much the better, but that shouldn’t be a prerequisite.

If you have the outdoor space to allow it (and a good weather forecast!), is there an opportunity to get your team together in person? Of course, still maintaining social distancing and any other government guidelines.

Taking part in a charitable event – be that fundraising, volunteering, or simply raising awareness – can be a rewarding way of bringing people together and maintain a team spirit, even if virtually. It’s Red Nose Day this Friday, so what opportunities does this – or any other forthcoming fund raising events – give for working together or simply having some fun.

Remember to celebrate what’s been good about the past 12 months. Has anyone learnt a new skill, or achieved a qualification since the start of lockdown? Who has had a significant event, birthday, or anniversary, and missed out on the opportunity to celebrate with others? What achievements have you had within the business: supporting key workers, new services, renovations, etc?

Take action to maintain a team spirit

If you only do one thing, whether your team are working from home or on furlough, find a reason to get everyone together to have some fun and banter.

related posts: Teamwork ~ Mixing things up

related video:  Purpose


Quick wins

easy wins

 

Do you get that feeling of satisfaction when you cross things off your list, or is that just me?

Conventional wisdom says get the worse things out of the way first. As Brain Tracy referred to it as “Eat That Frog”.

But if your team are on furlough or working from home I believe it’s going to be hard enough for them getting back into the swing of things as it is when they come back to work.

So give them the opportunity to tick some things off their list early on, so they feel they are seeing some results within the first few days back.

Consider now what short-term projects or goals can you set everyone, which eases them in gently, but still results in some quick wins. It will certainly help focus attention back onto the job in hand, and get everyone back into full flow as quickly as possible.

Put tangible metrics in place to measure progress and success; it will be far more rewarding when they are can recognise success for themselves.

Give each individual team member responsibility over specific activities. This gives a sense of pride and ownership.

If you only do one thing:

Set short term goals for yourself and everyone in your team, so you have something to work towards this week.

 

 



Attracting New Recruits

attracting new recruits

On last week’s UK Hospitality Forum Clubhouse discussion, I was asked about attracting new recruits.

Why is this important now?

For many businesses, plans are now underway for re-opening; which is brilliant news. But it would be naïve to think we can just pick up where we left off.

Team members who have been on furlough for anything from 4 months to maybe even 14 months will be experiencing all sorts of emotions.

Whilst some will be relieved they have a job to come back to, or looking forward to  seeing all their colleagues again, others may be suffering from survivor’s remorse, be worried about how the job has changed, or sad to leave new-found ways of spending their time.

Before I get onto the subject of attracting new recruits, the main part of the conversation centred on engaging your team post lockdown.

With this in mind I am running a free webinar next week on

How to Re-engage Your Team After Furlough

Wednesday 10th March, 10.30 – 11.15

If you’d like to get ahead of the game and start getting your team ready for their return join me then by registering here via Eventbrite:

https://after-furlough.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Attracting New Recruits

The past year has given people plenty of time for reflection. It’s possible some of your most loyal team members have had other thoughts about their career. Is their current role (or redefined role) really what they want?

If this is the case you may find yourself needing to recruit, either now or as you get back to full capacity.

So, back to the question: how to attract new recruits?

Here are 8 factors to help you get started with attracting new recruits and getting the best fit for your business.

1. Be a place people want to work

You can’t create a culture overnight where the best employees will want to work, but ensure you are doing everything to retain your reputation as a good employer.

Your existing team should be your greatest advocates;  if they feel valued they are far more likely to recommend you to others and spread the word that it’s a great place to work. So, continue to maintain communication and engagement with your existing team.

What does it mean to work for you? Ask your existing employees for their perspective of what they value about working for you, so you can share this with prospective employees.

2. Your purpose

You’ll want to attract people who will fit well into your business; people who resonate with your purpose and values. The more you can demonstrate these in your recruitment process, the more likely it is to get a good match.

It’s quite possible this has changed over the last 12 months; now is the perfect time to review this, and of course share this with your existing team too.

3. Career path

Demonstrate in your recruitment there’s potential to grow and develop. This means you’re more likely to attract people who see this as a potential longer-term career move, rather than somebody who is simply desperate for any job.

4. The role

It’s all too easy to focus on replacing like for like. When you have a vacancy it might be an ideal opportunity to restructure to open up opportunities for your existing loyal team members, and potentially giving you more flexibility in terms of potential candidates that can fulfil the new role.

Even if you keep the role as it is, upskill and cross train your existing team, so you have the flexibility amongst the team, and you’re not left in the lurch if you can’t recruit straightaway.

5. Transferable skills

What other industries employ people with suitable transferable skills? Rather than focusing on experience in similar roles, put the emphasis on these transferable skills, so you can widen the net to attract people from other industries.

Introducing some fresh blood can bring some fresh perspectives and ideas.

6. Be specific

There are certainly plenty of people at the moment looking for work. So there is a potential danger you will be inundated with hundreds of applicants for any one role. But if none of those are suitable, that doesn’t really help much. So be specific about the attributes and attitudes you want for the role, so you are only attracting the most suitable candidates.

If you want someone enthusiastic, dynamic and lively make your ad enthusiastic, dynamic and lively too! You’re not looking to attract anyone who’s desperate for a job; make it clear what you’re looking for and who fits the bill of the ideal candidate.

7. An inside job

Let your existing team members know of any positions you’re recruiting for.

Even if this is not a step up, it may present a new challenge for one of your existing team to keep them motivated or stretched.  And people know people like themselves, so they are well placed to share details of the vacancy.

If you do have internal applicants treat them in the same way as your external ones – acknowledging receipt of their application, interviews, offer letters, salary details, etc.  If internal candidates do not get the job ensure you give feedback to help with their development and to encourage them to apply for future positions.

8. No regrets

Start your induction process at the point they accept your job offer. Let them know how much you are looking forward to them coming to work for you.

Drip feed information that lets them know that they’re going to get a warm welcome. This might include a background to your business, your values and what’s important to you, current topical information, your reopening plans, an invitation to any team building/events/social activities happening between now and their start date, a copy of their induction programme and the point of contact for day one.

Doing all this before they start will make them feel more welcome and minimise that risk of any second thoughts.

Take Action

If you only do one thing: Talk to each of your team members well ahead of their return date to check how they are feeling and if they have any concerns about coming back to work.

Related article:  How to Attract, Recruit and Retain Great Staff