Four tips for welcoming staff back to work after COVID-19

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During the pandemic, many of us worked from home. By easing the restrictions, employees are preparing to return to work and may be wondering what this will look like. Here are our four most important tips for welcoming employees back to work.

1. Tell your employees what to expect

Your employees may have many questions about returning to work after a pandemic and when and how this will happen. As an employer, you can make the process easier and more convenient for your employees by letting them know your intentions before they return. That way, they will know exactly what to expect when they cross the threshold of the workplace again.

Your employees want to know when the company will open its doors and what new rules will be introduced regarding social distancing and the use of the premises. Providing as complete information as possible about what to expect upon return (ie the availability of vaccinations, face masks and disinfectants) will help employees overcome their concerns about return and ensure compliance with the new rules.

2. Ensuring a safe working environment

The health crisis has drawn attention to health and safety. As supermarkets encourage all customers to disinfect their hands and strollers at the door, employees will expect similar measures to be implemented by their company. Clear markings of where employees can find hygiene stations (and how to use them), as well as new rules and regulations, will give them safety beyond the comfort of home, which in turn will increase the likelihood of moving from home to home. work. This should include instructions on how to use meeting rooms, cafes, lifts and other common areas.

Regular inspections and temperature checks not only ensure that the workplace is safe, but also show employees that measures are being taken to protect them.

3. Consider rescheduled work

After months of online connection and working in a quiet corner of the house, the sudden return to a busy office or factory can put a huge strain on employees. Some employees may look forward to this, but others may need more time to adjust to a situation that may be very different from the one in which they worked at home.

Effective employee support during the transition back to the workplace will help minimize these problems. This support may include considering rescheduled starting work – continuing to work from home for a few days a week for the first few weeks to ensure a slow adaptation to the different work environment.

4. Evaluate and update your organization’s support systems

The COVID-19 pandemic has faced many challenges. It is important to recognize this and to check that the human resources management system and support measures reflect this and offer appropriate assistance.

This may mean that there is a confidential helpline or e-mail address where employees can express their concerns about commuting. It could also mean updating employment flexibility policies to allow employees to continue working as in the last year, or to be able to care for their children, as they did during the pandemic.

To learn more about the impact of the pandemic on the labor sector, see our four sectors of the labor market with the highest demand following the COVID-19 pandemic.

What do students expect from their future employers

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44% of young people do not plan to seek professional development abroad 44% of students do not plan to seek professional development abroad after completing their higher education, but to develop in our country. 38% would work in another country if they had the opportunity, and only 9% intend to go abroad. This shows the latest study of ManpowerGroup Bulgaria “Career expectations of young talents” The survey includes the responses of 351 Bulgarian students who have studied or are still studying in the country and abroad. It also shows that the majority of them (42%) are looking for long-term employment between 3 and 5 years at the beginning of their careers and only 16% think that it is normal to change their employer within three years. “The results of our latest survey unequivocally show that the days when young people jumped from company to company in search of the perfect employer are long gone. Today, they have much more information about what is happening on the market and often plan their career path in advance, knowing how, where and why they want to develop, “said Maria Stoeva, Sales and Business Development Team Manager at ManpowerGroup Bulgaria. “However, there is still a great need for them to receive a comprehensive career guidance in their school years in order to have greater clarity about all opportunities for professional realization in the current and future sectors.” Also, the three most important factors for young people that motivate them to choose a new employer are the opportunities for career growth (79%) and the acquisition of new knowledge (72%), as well as good interpersonal relationships in the team (63%). Among the least important factors are the additional benefits, the company’s product portfolio and the possibilities for remote work and flexible working hours. “It is not surprising that the additional benefits no longer cause the same motivating effect in job applicants and employees, because over the years they have become a given and can not replace adequate monthly pay. They remain highly valued as long as employers communicate them effectively and offer a choice of additional benefits, because each employee has different needs and expectations. ” How can you get a student loan In addition, young talents expect their future leaders to be able to give constructive feedback on the results of their work (81%), to organize all work activities effectively (75%) and to motivate team members (73%). One of the hottest trends in human capital management, gamification, is also emerging as an important element of the employer brand: more than half of respondents believe that the gamified selection process and gamified training are more effective, more interesting and more engaging. compared to traditional methods. “The new modern, or gamification of familiar HR processes, is already part of the employer brand of any organization that wants to attract the younger generation. Such methods of selection and organization of work processes would help each company to attract and engage young talents in its teams, “added Maria Stoev.

At work in Germany: three deceived Bulgarians tell stories

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More and more Bulgarians come to work in Germany. However, many of them fall victim to labor exploitation and do not know where to seek their rights. Here is what three Bulgarians, who came across incorrect employers, say. More and more Bulgarians are heading to Germany. The reason: in 2014, the restrictions on the German labor market were completely lifted. Since then, the Federal Republic has welcomed nearly 160,000 Bulgarian migrants. Most of them come with the intention of staying temporarily. They work as caregivers, builders, hygienists, drivers, kitchen helpers. However, their dream of a better life and decent pay does not always come true. Some fall into the hands of dishonest employers and fall victim to labor exploitation. “The most common victims are caregivers and construction workers,” said Ivan Ivanov of Faire Mobilität, which offers mother tongue consultancy services to workers in Eastern and Central Europe. According to him, most criminal structures exist in these sectors. Their members benefit from the exploitation of human labor. And the violations are usually associated with the manipulation of working hours. Ivan Ivanov explains that this problem mainly affects people who care for the sick or elderly 24 hours a day. Very often they receive contracts with working hours of 2, 4 or 8 hours a day, but in reality their commitment is permanent. Nurses work without rest, with unlimited working hours and in constant readiness to serve the patient. Such workers – mostly women from Eastern and Central Europe – receive a minimum wage (usually € 9.50 per hour) and are often deducted from their salaries for rent and food. There is no information about their specific number. According to experts familiar with the problems in the industry, the caregivers from Eastern and Central Europe are between 100,000 and 400,000 people. However, others believe that they are much more, as many work illegally. Until recently, among them was Marina P. *, who arrived in Germany in 2009 and began working as a black nurse. He remembers that he once had to take care of an elderly family in Lauben – the woman was mentally ill and the man was in bed. “I couldn’t go to the toilet or go out in the yard for 5 minutes to take a breath, once I didn’t blink for 72 hours. There were no weekdays, no holidays, no rest. There was only work, a lot of work,” Marina said. But that’s not all. It often happened that they did not pay her on time, withheld more rent money and did not pay her health insurance. Her last employer also turned out to be a fraud, but the woman never had the courage to seek redress in court. Instead, she decided to forget about the case and started fresh in another city and at another job. Many victims choose this path and rarely turn to the authorities for help. Not Stoyanka A., who decided to seek her rights. The 55-year-old woman left Bulgaria 4 years ago to look for a new livelihood for her family. A few months ago, a Bulgarian brokerage firm sent her to work in a large pig farm near the German city of Potsdam. On the tenth day of her stay, Stoyanka suffered a work accident – she fell into a 4-meter shaft, where the dead pigs were dumped. She miraculously survived. However, she was later fired. Her story is not an isolated case. “Many employers abuse the ignorance of their employees and illegally dismiss them in the hope that they will not seek their rights,” explains Ivan Ivanov. In Germany, the term for contesting such dismissal is only 3 weeks, but unlike in Bulgaria, there is no explicit ban on the release of the worker during sick leave, he added. “Even during the first 6 months, when the so-called probation period (Probezeit) usually runs, the employer is not obliged to state the reason for the dismissal, he only has to comply with the relevant notice period. Many companies resort to this approach to save money. the payment of sick leave “, explains Ivanov. Many foreigners working in the meat processing sector in Germany face similar problems. According to the Federal Employment Agency, every third employee in the industry has foreign citizenship, and new jobs are almost always filled by workers from Romania and Bulgaria. Statistics show that in June 2018 the number of Bulgarians in the meat processing sector reached 2,600 people *. They often work in extremely difficult conditions – at a minimum wage, six days a week, sometimes 12-13 hours a day. They are usually accommodated in dormitories. There they are forced to live in miserable conditions, without any personal space. For this “pleasure” they are deducted rent, which can reach 290 euros per month.

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