The workplace is a complicated matter these days. What was once cut and dry in terms of the rules of conduct are becoming muddier. If you’ve had to lay off employees while your company recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, what is an appropriate way to contact employees on leave? Whether you need to communicate important details or want to demonstrate that you haven’t forgotten your team, what are the best practices for connection in these times?
The most important thing you can do is continue to send updates and information relevant to your employees, their jobs, and the state of the company. Keep employees on leave connected and encourage them to want to return when the time is right.
Encourage Personal Communication
You should also encourage everyone within the office who had a friendly relationship with one another to continue to communicate. This can help keep spirits up and support a continued team-oriented mindset.
Send Emails Unrelated to Work
You can send your employees emails that are unrelated to the workplace. For instance, if you find an interesting article about staying active while at home, send that to your team with your wishes for their health and wellbeing.
Topics to Avoid
What you should not do while an employee is on leave is ask them to work for you. If you do this, you’ll likely be required to pay them for the hours worked. If the employee brings up the topic, just let them know that you miss them but things are just fine. If the employee is out of work for a health concern, do not ask personal questions about their health.
Respect Your Employees Wishes
Finally, the most important thing to know is to respect each employee’s wishes while they’re on leave. If they do not want to be contacted by you or anyone else in the office, don’t force them to interact. The only exception is anything required by law, such as updating their tax or I-9 information before they return to work.
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