Risk alert: Ways to minimize negative staff impact when getting back to the office

CUNA Mutual Group recently issued a risk alert to help credit unions minimize negative staff impact when getting back to the office.

Citing a poll that indicated that early half of workers feel anxious about their own health, mental well-being and the health of their families when going back to the workplace, the risk alert stated that, as with all workplace safety and health efforts, staying safe will be the combined effort of employers taking the right steps to reduce risk, remain flexible if possible and maintain strong communications with employees.

“Each employee’s experience of working remotely has been unique and understanding the impact it has had on each person’s physical and mental wellbeing will help determine who is ready to return to the office,” the risk alert stated. “To maximize personal productivity and job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover, it will be critical to find the right balance for employees going forward.”

The risk alert suggests that credit unions should consider the following action steps:

  • recognize that employees will need time to adapt to new ways of working post-pandemic — returning to a workplace may require a mindset shift for those who’ve adjusted to working remotely;
  • make sure employees understand what’s being asked of them and what steps you’re taking to protect their health and wellness;
  • acknowledge the transition challenges including providing mental health resources when necessary;
  • build a framework for reopening plans to take the variety of employee emotions and sentiments into consideration;
  • practice clear and consistent two-way communication with all employees;
  • stay open to considering flexible work arrangements;
  • embrace a culture of self-care, when lives become overwhelming and busy, it is easy to lose sight of making self-care a priority;
  • consider offering mental health days;
  • provide manager support training;
  • keep a pulse on the team members through informal discussions or staff surveys;
  • promote a stigma-free workplace; and
  • build upon collaboration between all stakeholders.

CUNA Mutual Group’s risk alerts may be accessed on their Protection Resource Center. Log-in is required.

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