Webinar takeaways: People Practices for Reboarding

Our second For a Better World of Work Webinar, People Practices for Reboarding was hosted on 8 June 2020. Once again HR Experts from our community of Top Employers dealt with many of the questions surrounding the transition from workspaces to workplaces. In opening the webinar, David Plink, CEO at Top Employers Institute highlighted some of the opportunities and challenges for the HR in developing a reboarding strategy. Read David’s full article on this topic here  

Farnaz Ranjbar, Senior VP Human Resources for DHL Express Europe unpacked their staggered approach to reboarding, ensuring that guiding principles were in place and that social distancing would be maintained for DHL Express’ 100 000+ employees.  

As more organisations embrace remote working as the new normal, successful people strategies are beginning to take shape. Jasmin Pillay, Director of Human Resources, Microsoft South Africa explored how Microsoft is entrenching a cultural shift to remote working as a long-term strategy.  

Watch the full webinar by filling in the form or read the key takeaways here:  

Returning to the new normal at DHL Express 

Farnaz Ranjbar emphasised that the key to their successful reboarding relied on a four-pillar approach:  

  • No Rush. Managers shouldn't rush to bring people back to the workplace faster than they feel comfortable. 
  • Be safe. “Safety First” has been - and will always be - fundamental to the DHL culture. 
  • Be sensible. Managers are being encouraged to use their common sense in planning for the return to work, while adhering to social distancing rules. 
  • People first. There is and will always be a relentless focus during reboarding on the emotional, physical and psychological well-being of employees.  

Of course, with a workforce across 220 countries and territories each at a different stage of the crisis, local situations and assessing the needs of the people – not just the business was the first stepTo show what their approach looked like in practice, Farnaz talked through defining return groups and planning for long term mobile working.  

Opportunities and challenges for HR in an age of remote working 

Jasmin Pillay stressed the need for HR to understand the skills they already have in their workforce - and then assess the skills they will need to ensure business continuity as reboarding takes place. All HR, she explained, need to rethink what workforce planning now really means. This is vital for businesses to respond successfully to future crises for capitalise on new opportunities. 

The webinar shows that Microsoft (and many other organisations) face clear challenges and opportunities, such as: 

  • Staying connected. It’s really important during reboarding, with some returning to the office but others not to drive the team culture and check in on each other’s wellbeing. 
  • Creating space to disconnect.  With the blurring of work and home boundaries, there is a danger in any organisation of falling into the “always on” mentality. This must be discouraged. 
  • Redoubling efforts on Inclusivity. Everyone is working to different patterns and may be in different locations, so it is more important than ever for HR to emphasise inclusivity. 
  • Creating a long-term culture of remote working. This will be hugely important - the way that this is handled at an organisational level could have a major impact on productivity. 

Watch the People Practices for Reboarding webinar to learn more about how the pandemic has been the catalyst, albeit through adversity, transformational change to all organisations. Much has changed in a short space of time. Businesses need to ready for more change as organisations find their way through the maze of reboarding.