Are you ready for the return? Your employee checklist

Are you ready for the return? Your employee checklist

With the much-awaited reopening of tourism and hospitality across the island of Ireland pending, we know you are working hard to develop plans for a return including ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff and customers.

Hospitality and tourism faced more challenges than any other industry during the pandemic. While the industry will likely emerge battered and bruised, there is a determination to come back in a more sustainable manner achieved through creativity, adaptability and sheer persistence.

Your employees will be the driving force behind adapting your organisation to the new ways people will travel and entertain themselves, meeting higher customer expectations regarding hygiene, innovation and digitisation required to attract customers.

In recent weeks and months, we have seen a range of protocols adopted across the industry answering questions on key HR areas. Think People Consulting have created an Employee Checklist for hospitality and tourism businesses planning their revival following COVID-19. While not exhaustive, it reflects the critical areas within your sector:

  • Have you reviewed your HR policies and procedures and contracts of employment to ensure they reflect changes of the past year and those yet to come? e.g. Do you have a vaccination policy in place, what is your stance on COVID testing, do you have a contractual lay off clause?
  • Consider your organisation structure. Are some roles no longer necessary? Are essential skills and knowledge missing?
  • Do you have a plan to reintegrate furlough returners? Building a structured re-onboarding and engagement plan is key.
  • Do you have clear workforce planning, including projections for skills needs, recruitment and selection? Talent attraction is going to be a challenge.
  • Do you hire from the EU? Consider applying for a sponsor licence. Encourage existing EU employees to apply to EU settlement scheme. Have you completed right to work checks?
  • Have your Health and Safety and Hygiene policies and measures been updated to fully meet COVID standards? Have you the necessary PPE in place for staff to do their jobs.
  • Be prepared for employee relations issues. Upskill HR or have a HR professional on stand-by should employee relations issues arise. After the personal and work-based challenges your employees have faced through the pandemic, returning to work will bring challenges for some. Badly handled issues such as absence, conflict or grievances could be the difference between an engaged or a disgruntled employee, and that could be the difference between a customer revisiting your business or not.
  • Are managers prepared to support the return, to build a great employee experience, to meet possibly new needs of customers and to manage the issues that may arrive?

Think People can help you develop your plan for re-opening or assistance on any of the areas listed in our checklist. We provide hands-on advice and support in:

  • Outsourced HR support or project-based support
  • Updating contracts, HR policies and
  •  Employee engagement assessment and planning
  • Recruitment and talent development
  • Reorganisation and redundancies
  • Employee relations issues which arise during changes
  • Change management
  • Optimising performance
  • Management skills development

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