How to conduct a return to work interview during COVID-19

Conducting a return to work interview is a way to welcome a member of your team back to the business. Read on to find out more!
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Remember when you first started a job? Even if you naturally beam with confidence there is always a little uncertainty and maybe even nervousness. But how about returning to work? 

We have all been there: whether it’s been a spell of sickness, an injury, or some time off to travel, most of us have experienced a period away from work. Returning to work can be nerve-wracking.

If you’re a manager, conducting a return to work interview may give your employees some certainty before they begin serving your customers again. In this blog, we will show you how to conduct a return to work interview.

Why should I conduct a return to work interview? 

Conducting a return to work interview is a way to welcome a member of your team back to the business. The informal interview checks in with your employee before they get back into the thick of things. A back to work interview is an optional exercise your business can undertake.

As a leader, it will certainly help you see where each member of your team is at while setting the tone for your employee’s return to work. Following a spike of worrying mental health cases over the past year, holding a back to work interview with your employee can help you understand your employee’s physical and mental wellbeing. 

Benefits of the return to work interview 

Conducting a return to work interview will show your employees that the business cares about their success. The back to work interview also leaves the space open for your employee to ask valuable questions, share concerns, or give ideas. 

You’re also fulfilling your duty of care to your employees by ensuring you’re looking after their needs while tracking the reasons for your employees’ absence. 

Enter The Coronavirus 

Without doubt, some of your employees will have enjoyed their time off. Some will be itching to get back behind the bar, through the kitchen doors and some are ready to float around your establishment’s floors! Some are not that lucky…

A sample of 7,149 people from across the UK were asked about their mental health during furlough – some of the data will surprise you. The researchers found the side effects of lockdowns saw 27% of people were in an “at risk” group for mental health problems.

According to the Guardian, two thirds of furloughed workers were worried of receiving full redundancy during the UK’s first lockdown. This is compared with a quarter of workers still working at the time. 

Statistics released by the UK Government show that 1 in 5 adults reported depression, compared with 1 in 10 before the pandemic; 1 in 8 adults reported a worsening of depressive symptoms; young adults (16-29), women, people with disabilities and people under financial strain were more likely to report depressive symptoms, and the most common impact on overall well-being was the feelings stress or anxiousness. 

It is safe to say that while some will return to work prepared and ready to serve, others may be suffering from the pandemic’s emotional weight.

Conducting a back to work interview can give your employees some certainty about their future within the business.

Conducting a back to work interview

The return to work interview really is just a re-introduction to work. It is a light-touch interview where you will: 

  • Welcome your employee back with enthusiasm
  • Confirm they are fit to work
  • If it is not COVID related, understand why the were absent for a long time. This will also give your employee the option to highlight any potential issues when they return to work
  • If issues arise and if you can: offer answers or solutions. If you can, refer your employee to support structures or mechanisms in the business 

Remember, this is not a legal requirement. If you believe it will benefit your employee and your team, hold a return to work interview. 

You may also want to:

  • Provide updates and developments to the way you are operating right now
  • Develop a return to work plan to phase your employee back into work 
  • Let your employee ask questions and input ideas

Using your Bizimply account, record the main talking points from the interview in the issues tab located in the employees section of your Bizimply administrator account. Make sure to record the key takeaways from the meeting, both good and bad.

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