As casinos reopen and eager crowds return to the Las Vegas Strip, local business owners may have questions about how to proceed with re-opening while ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. Health screenings and social distancing recommendations are well-known and encourage best practices such as temperature checks, partitions and sanitizing stations. Beyond these basics, concentrating on company culture is a solid strategy for a smooth and successful reopening.
LEAD WITH EMPATHY
Many Las Vegas business owners and their employees have been impacted financially and personally by the pandemic. As remote employees focused on staying productive at home, they often struggled to balance work responsibilities with the in-home demands of loved ones. Demonstrating awareness and compassion specific to each individual’s situation can have a big impact on company culture — and ultimately employee engagement, team morale and overall retention.
While some employees may be fully ready to return to the workplace, others may be hiding apprehension or fear due to the pandemic. Business leaders should engage in one-on-one conversations to get an understanding of employee expectations before encouraging workers to return to the physical workplace.
COMMUNICATE WITH CLARITY
Clear and consistent communication is essential to building company culture and instrumental to facilitating a smooth transition back to the physical workplace. Employers should update employee handbooks and policies to address any changes due to the pandemic, such as work-from-home arrangements, mask guidelines and social distancing requirements. In turn, frontline managers should be informed and trained to respond to frequently asked employee questions.
CONSIDER FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING
Rotating employee work schedules has quickly proven to be a popular strategy for easing back into the workplace and mitigating the risk of an outbreak. By implementing a rotating schedule, employers can manage the number of employees in the workplace at any given time and free up more space to ensure for safe social distancing. Additional benefits of flexible scheduling include smaller in-person meetings and reduced commute times.
CHAMPION EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING
While there are obvious physical concerns about returning to the workplace, the effect on employee mental health should not be overlooked. The return to the workplace presents a critical opportunity for employers to create, reinforce or revive the type of company culture that yields long-term benefits. Las Vegas business owners should consider employee assistance programs, evaluate employee wellness programs and create opportunities to reinforce company values.
Employee assistance programs may prove especially beneficial in the return to work, as confidential counseling and consultation services often provide customized resources and referrals. Even in the absence of a pandemic, counseling services and referrals can help employees maintain better mental and physical health. These programs typically are available to employees and their dependents at no cost to the employee.
For businesses looking to bounce back in 2021, contagious company culture can serve as the catalyst for a profitable recovery. The more that local businesses demonstrate that employees come first in the return to the workplace, the greater success Las Vegas will see in the post-pandemic economy.
Fred Lovingier is a district manager with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.