How to Move Forward When You Reopen Your Office

Reopening Office.BizSavvyCoach.Jeannette Seibly

Attention all leaders! Business will never the same when and after you reopen your office!

How you handle reopening your office will determine your team’s ability to trust you now and in the future. The key is to focus your time and energy on communication, safety, and team connectivity. Remember, change is never easy for anyone regardless of the reasons why.

The challenge is providing clarity and building trust 24/7. When you do, you will find your team members are amazingly resilient.

Focus on These 6 Tips to Provide Clarity and Build Trust

1. Manners Matter. Fear of this pandemic will not go away for a long time. Unfortunately, fear can and will be expressed in unexpected and, sometimes, unacceptable ways. Handle microaggressions immediately or team members will become disengaged. Lead by example with exemplary manners and encourage others to do the same. These positive new habits will build a positive new workplace culture. The simplest way to get started? Always use “please” and “thank you.” Now, build from there.

2. Use Positive Acknowledgement as the Norm. Meet with team members individually and as a group to express gratitude for their contributions…no matter how small. Don’t forget to give out gift cards and other small perks as acknowledgments. These make a big difference in team members feeling valued, especially right now. Be on the lookout, now more than ever, to positively acknowledge each and every person, each and every day!

3. Rally Your Team’s Spirit. Today, there has been a major upheaval in each team member’s world. So it’s important to focus on rallying them back together as a team. For example, your sales team will need a boost. Host fun and engaging sessions to review product offerings, share new research, and encourage new ways of talking with customers.

4. Health and Safety is #1. Regardless of anything else you do when you reopen your office and bring back your team members, health and safety is #1. On Day 1! Re-onboard ALL team members! Review new and old policies and procedures. Don’t expect them to read and understand your intentions. Share your expectations of them, what they can expect from you, and why it matters.

Here are some examples:

  • -Are there new cleaning protocols?
  • -Are hand sanitizers and face masks provided?
  • -How will you monitor team members’ health?
  • -How are you staying current with local, state, and federal changes?
  • -What are social distancing requirements for reopening the office (e.g., large group gatherings, shared office space, break rooms, etc.)?
  • -When can they work from home and what are the protocols?

5. Encourage Self-Responsibility. Team members must be responsible (including you) for following ALL protocols. This includes paying attention to their own health, safety, and well-being. Examples include honoring other’s boundaries, avoiding large group gatherings, and relying on virtual meetings whenever possible. Also, encourage team members to stay home when feeling ill without the threat of repercussions.

6. Remember, Change Is a Process, Not An Event. Respect the fact that each team member will process this period of loss and change differently. Ensure frequent and consistent communication…even if you sound like a parrot…to enforce new policies and practices. Team members will forget or not understand how their attitudes and behaviors impact others! It’s imperative that you are mindful and set a positive example…or confusion will reign and trust will quickly diminish.

Remember, providing clarity and building trust is a 24/7 job when reopening your office.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel at leading by example and building trust. The new world of work has started. Are you ready?  Contact Jeannette to improve your strategic hiring, coaching, training, and managing processes.  Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or

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