What’s your back to work policy?

Sadly it was the last session of my Peer Network cohort recently. We’re a group of creative business owners who’ve been getting together (virtually) since Jan. I’ve loved practicing my coaching skills.

Of course the point is to receive support and my gang have been fabulous. But I surprised myself by getting just as much from being able to help my new friends.

Back to the office?

Getting everyone back to the studio was a hot topic in the last few sessions. For creative businesses, especially those with young teams to train, being remote has been tough.

And I think it’s been harder for smaller businesses, with fewer resources, without dedicated people or HR teams. 

What’s your policy?

I’ve been helping a client find the right tone of voice for their back-to-work policy and they’re truly progressive. Some teams will only need to be face-to-face 4 times a year – which is ballsy. It’ll mean more work to keep the company culture strong in a very social business.

It’s fascinating to see how different businesses are handling this and I think these decisions say a lot about the leadership team. My client’s using their values to shape the policy. Which tells their people they aren’t just nice words. Their values shape decisions and behaviour.

Are Amazon getting it right?

Amazon’s back to work policy has had quite a bit of praise, particularly this letter to staff from CEO, Andy Jassy.

Revealing your thinking and not pretending to have all the answers is powerful from a corporate comms perspective. It’s just a shame the cliche and corporate speak have crept in, though – ‘challenging and unprecedented’, ‘discontinuity’, ‘baseline’ etc.

What I’ve been learning:

  • Start with your values – how you ask people back to the office is an opportunity to show your folks what you believe in
  • Be vulnerable – we’re in this together and no-one expects you to have all the answers
  • Use a human, empathetic tone of voice – you’re not communicating with robots
  • Get feedback – my client has heard that it’s not just software developers who love working at home, customer service prefer it, too.

What are you hearing from your teams?

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