Employee Feedback Survey Questions You Need to Ask before Returning to Work

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COVID-19 reopening checklist

Remember the good ol’ days?

Potlucks. Company outings. Even simple water cooler talk.

It seems like a lifetime ago. But in just four months, we have completely redefined what “work” looks like — particularly for office-based businesses.

Prior to the pandemic, just 15% of employees worked remotely. Now, 50% of employees work from home.

For many, the transition to remote work was rocky at first but largely manageable. According to one report, working at home has even increased productivity by 47%.

As more counties and states give the green light to reopen, businesses now have a new set of challenges to face.

Return to work post COVID-19

When we bring our employees back to the office, we need to be mindful as leaders. We’ve all had to face this crisis but our individual experiences and situations are unique.

As our employees return post-COVID, there are several factors to consider before rolling out the plan.

Accommodating personal responsibilities

While many employees are excited to be back onsite, others may be concerned about their personal responsibilities.

With many daycares and schools still closed, single parents and dual-earner households are scrambling to find child care. Your employees may also have elderly parents to care for, too.

During normal times, child and elder care can be hard. The COVID-19 outbreak, however, has made it even more difficult.

As such, it is important to be empathetic and willing to listen to your employees’ concerns. Try to explore a variety of solutions that fits both of your needs.

Making health and safety a priority in the workplace

Many of your employees may have underlying health conditions that increase their risk of a serious COVID-19 infection. As you reopen your office, some may be nervous or reluctant to come back.

In fact, research shows that 54% of employees are worried about their exposure to COVID in the workplace.

Being sensitive to your team’s needs during these trying times and creating a safe environment is crucial. The CDC’s Resuming Business Toolkit can help you find ways to protect your employees.

You may also want to consider delaying re-entry for at-risk workers to minimize their exposure.

Adjusting to a new work environment onsite

Just because employees are back in the office doesn’t mean it will be the same as when they left. Like most organizations, you’re probably taking some precautions.

From socially distanced workspaces to staggered work schedules, things will be different. Some changes — like a closed coffee bar, for example — may even be met with resistance.

Make sure your employees know why these changes are happening and how they will help keep them safe.

Readjusting to office life

For many employees, remote work has been a welcomed change.

Believe it or not, one report found that 80% of employees enjoy working from home

For them, returning to the office may mean a long commute. It might also mean less flexibility in how they do their work, less time with their families, and a loss of control.

Take the time to listen to your employees’ concerns. Try to stay flexible while communicating clear expectations.

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Preparing for returning to work and reopening the office

Just like the transition to remote work, the transition back to the office requires a strong change management plan.

When the coronavirus hit, leaders had to quickly adapt and develop a plan of action. This time around, as we return to the office, we have the advantage of time.

A well-built change management plan does more than just communicate changes with your workforce. It also serves to create buy-in and ease employee tensions.

As employees return to the office, 44% of them want continued transparency and open communication from their leadership.

Your change management plan can give them that.

Creating a post-COVID change management plan

As you create your organization’s post-COVID reopening plan, there are three critical phases to cover.

Phase 1: Prepare for the worksite re-entry

During the first change management phase, you’ll need to develop a situational awareness. Your employees have been working remotely for awhile now. This is your chance to understand how they feel about working onsite again.

A survey is a great way to engage your team and get the insights you need to fine-tune your reopening plan. By asking your employees about their current situation and feelings, you can address their concerns upfront.

Great Leadership

Phase 2: Manage the return to work

All workplace changes require support. Similar to when your employees transitioned to remote work, they will need help transitioning back.

In this phase, you’ll want to create a plan to communicate the changes with your employees. If your pre-return to work survey indicated some employees may be resistant to coming back, this is the time for your leadership team to create a plan for how you will handle it.

Re-onboarding your employees

When your employees come back onsite, they will need to adapt to a new work environment. Similar to onboarding new employees, you’ll need a plan to get your workers familiar with your new business practices.

Since many states have mandatory training for workplace COVID-19 hazards, you will want to ensure your plan covers:

  • The signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with COVID-19
  • How they can prevent spread of the coronavirus (masks, distancing, etc.)
  • How to properly wash hands with soap and water
  • Why they need to cover coughs and sneezes
  • Why they should avoid touching their faces

Reboarding is also a great time to discuss how your organization’s goals may have changed and how this impacts their roles. This will help your employees stay engaged and see your vision for the future.

Phase 3: Reinforce the change

Change management doesn’t end once your employees have returned to work.

You’ll want to ensure they feel supported now that they are back. A post-return to work survey will help you do just that. From there, you can make adjustments and improvements if necessary.

Overcoming Classic Leadership Challenges

Employee engagement survey questions to ask your employees on return-to-work plan

When you design your workplace reopening survey, make sure you are asking the right questions. Your survey doesn’t have to be long to give you an in-depth understanding of your employees’ unique circumstances and needs.

By partnering with Dr. Brooks Holtom, TINYpulse developed a pre-return to work and post-return to work survey to get you the critical insights you need.

Rather than starting from scratch, you can use this two-part return-to-work survey for your own return-to-work assessment.

Pre-return to work assessment

TINYpulse’s pre-return to work survey is designed to help you strategically plan for re-entry. By asking your employees the right questions, you can make more informed decisions as a leader.

These 10 simple questions also show you are empathetic to your workers’ needs and it helps reassure them as you move forward.

Pre-return to work survey questions

With the exception of two questions, these questions use a 5-point likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

  1. I feel confident that my organization will manage the return to work well.
  2. Overall, I feel confident that the leaders of my organization will consider all inputs (e.g., employees, managers, partners, and government) in crafting our return-to-work process.
  3. I feel confident that I have safe channels to share my concerns when returning to work.
  4. As we prepare to return to work, I feel confident that I will be able to attend to my personal responsibilities (e.g., child care and elder care).
  5. Currently, I feel confident about the long-term future of my organization.
  6. Currently, I feel confident in the future of my job at my organization.
  7. While working from home, I feel I am: (a) Much less productive, (b) Slightly less productive, (c) Similarly productive, (d) Slightly more productive, (e) Much more productive, (f) N/A – I did not work from home
  8. I’m confident that my organization will take appropriate measures to keep me as safe as possible when we return to work.
  9. I feel a sense of control over when I return to work.
  10. As we plan to return to work, what feedback or concerns would you like to share with us? _______________________________

Post-return to work assessment

These 10 post-return to work survey questions will help you see how well you did with reopening and find out what adjustments need to be made going forward.

These questions also keep employees engaged and show that you value their feedback.

Post-return to work survey questions

With the exception of two questions, these questions use a 5-point likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

  1. Overall, I feel satisfied with how my organization has managed the return to work process.
  2. Overall, I feel confident that my organization considered all inputs (e.g., employees, managers, partners, and government) in crafting our return-to-work process.
  3. I feel confident that I have safe channels to share my concerns now that we have returned to work.
  4. As we have returned to work, I have been able to attend to my personal responsibilities (e.g., child care and elder care).
  5. I feel confident about the long-term future of my organization.
  6. I feel confident in the future of my job at my organization.
  7. While working from home, I felt I was: (a) Much less productive, (b) Slightly less productive, (c) Similarly productive, (d) Slightly more productive, (e) Much more productive, (f) N/A – I did not work from home
  8. I am satisfied with the measures my organization has taken to keep me safe now that I have returned to work.
  9. I felt a sense of control over when I returned to work.
  10. Now that most people have returned to work, what feedback or concerns would you like to share with the organization? ______________________

Do you have the data you need to make strategic reopening decisions?

Getting your employees feedback before and after they return to the office will ensure a successful transition back.

TINYpulse’s Return-to-Work Assessment can help leaders like you make better decisions to recover from this pandemic while keeping your ears to the ground.

Both surveys can be accessed directly from the TINYpulse app. Once you have your insights, we’d be happy to help you interpret them.

Book a demo now to see TINYpulse in action.

Source: This post was originally published at Tiny Pulse on .

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