Tips for Managing the Reopening of Your Workplace

Whether you are managing the reopening of an educational establishment, such as a kindergarten, school, college, or university, or a workplace environment, such as an office, retail outlet, or factory, you should consider how you are going to support all your stakeholders. Regardless if your stakeholders are children, students, staff, or customers and clients, you should consider their different needs. Staff may be anxious about returning to the workplace after an extended time working at home, children are likely to have worries about returning to school and customers may have lost confidence about shopping in stores. As a manager, there are certain things that you could consider to support people with the return.


Communication is a key way that you can help make people feel as safe as possible. It is good practice to engage with everyone, whatever the situation – children, parents, experienced staff, established customers. It is important that everyone is kept up-to-date with the measures that managers and leaders have put in place to keep everyone as safe as can be. This should help provide reassurance that management has risk assessed the situation and has put things in place to minimize risks of spreading the Covid-19 virus. It is also helpful to allow for two-way communication, allowing staff, parents, customers, and children to raise their concerns so that you provide communication about how you are addressing these concerns. This communication can help you build trust and confidence.

Just as importantly, as well as providing reassurance, your communication should make sure that everyone is aware of the measures so that they can abide by them. You should communicate clearly the new rules and procedures to stakeholders, you may need to publish new staff or student guidance, posters may be needed to explain rules to everybody, including customers, children, hotel guests, etc. You should make sure that your communication is accessible to all. For example, if working with younger children, you may need to provide visual messages and when working in a multilingual environment, you may need to provide communication in various languages. can translate your posters, policies, and information sheets, making sure that all your stakeholders fully comprehend the control measures put in place in the workplace.

Building on current good practice

You should build on whatever you are currently doing well. Evaluate your practices during the lockdown and build on the good things that you already have in place. For example, you could find that welfare calls to staff or families during lockdown has helped build positive relationships. You could continue with these to support the transition back to the workplace / educational establishment. Perhaps you moved to online meetings and these worked well. You might like to consider keeping online meetings in a place where possible, reducing risks for staff even if they are working in the same building.

It may also cut down on traveling time to meetings, which could help with staff work-life balance. The same with online training; many staff enjoyed this and liked the benefits of not having to travel to training. Could this be retained as we return to the workplace?

Supporting with the transition back

It will be difficult to expect everyone to return immediately to their previous routines. People may need time to build up to usual routines. In schools, for example, time may be needed for a more creative curriculum, building in time to reflect and discuss events. Younger children especially may need activities which remind them how to share and take turns. In the workplace too, staff may need time to adjust to the expected work routines and may need a certain amount of flexibility, perhaps an adjustment in work patterns or workspace. It could be that some members of your work community have suffered personal trauma during the crisis, including bereavement. Managers should consider what support they could give in this respect. Does the workplace have a counseling service? If so, do employees know how to access this?

Building staff expertise

Managers and leaders may need to make sure that their staff has the ability to support others. For example, if staff in kindergartens, schools and universities are going to support the mental wellbeing of children and young people, they may need some training on how to do this. It could be that they need a focus on supporting with bereavement or on dealing with anxiety. This may also be the case with managers in the workplace supporting employees. Moreover, managers may find that they are supporting employees worried about the current economic crisis and worried about job security as an added concern. Furthermore, staff may also need training and guidance about recognizing when specialist support is needed and how to make a referral or where to signpost to an appropriate specialist.

Managers may also consider training for all staff on resilience building and self-care. Again, training and support may need to be offered in a variety of languages in a multilingual environment, allowing all staff or students to access the materials effectively. Again, some agencies provide the translation of training materials in a large number of language combinations and at reasonable prices. If you have a multilingual workforce, you should make sure that the training is accessible to them easily.

Managers and leaders – remember to look after yourself

Last but not least, remember to look after yourself! Whatever your place of work, managing the Covid-19 situation in the workplace is likely to be difficult and at times stressful. If you don’t look after your own health and wellbeing, you are not going to be very effective in supporting others. Make sure that you look after yourself and seek support from other senior colleagues should you need to. Moreover, you should maintain a positive work-life balance. This is important and doesn’t mean you are any less committed to work. On the contrary, it should help you function better at work and, as well as looking after your own wellbeing, you will provide a good model for your employees.

Background Checks for Beginners – Where to Start

Almost every successful company comes to a point when their staff is overwhelmed with job tasks and they need to hire more people, so they can complete the work. Managers and HR specialists need to recruit and hire new employees to meet the increased demand when that point approaches. While the prospect of growth is certainly exciting, it comes with responsibilities and potential risks. You can minimize these and hire confidently with the right background check. But, is that legal? How far can we get with our “digging” in the past of the persons of our interest, until it reaches some critical level of diving too deep into someone’s privacy? How to do that, and still respect the boundaries?

Easier said than done? Definitely. Background checks can be very complicated for beginners and junior HR recruiters who are at the start of their careers in the business. This article will list the most effective strategies as part of the check process.

Choose a Reliable Agency

Your recruiters can benefit from cooperation with a reliable check agency no matter what your needs are. Companies like checkpeople specialize in background checks and offer useful insights and unique resources to guide their clients through the screening process when they need to decide who to invite on an interview, or who to hire. Your background check agency must adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), customize its services to your needs, offer accessible and responsive customer support, and provide timely and cost-effective reports.

Clarify the Screening Procedure

Best screening practices and the FCRA obligate companies to ensure transparency with applicants. Explain to job applicants why the background check needs to be done before you begin screenings. Clarify to them how the check report can affect their employment prospects. Some of them may not be comfortable with that, so it’s better for them to know and to give up on the application, especially if they want to keep their privacy safe, for some reason. If the candidate doesn’t want to be a part of all of that, it’s not necessary because they hide something from you. Some people just respect their privacy and think they’re giving only the information the potential employer needs to get to know them better. The recruiters should respect that decision, and move to the next candidate who doesn’t have the same problem.

Searches and packages are set up by your company and your background check agency based on your industry and needs. The next step is establishing screening process guidelines and employment policy. Job candidates need to be aware and have access to these guidelines so they can decide whether to pursue employment with your organization or not. Candidates must understand what consequences their reports can have. They need to sign an FCRA-required consent form before you are able to move forward with the background check.

A Consistent Policy is in Order

All parties involved need to be aware of the steps and the time frames of the check. Ideally, document your policy in a flow chart. Random screenings can cause legal troubles if you are not applying the policy consistently, i.e., you’re screening some candidates and not others based on their background. Your applicants should always have the opportunity to clear up misunderstandings or mistakes.

Sometimes, information obtained through screenings is not accurate. If you give someone the chance to assess the information, you might be saving a potentially amazing employee that would otherwise have been excluded without justification. So, if you are a recruiter who needs to check all the applications, do that for every candidate that is potentially good for the position you offer and don’t make exceptions. It’s understandable that one candidate can seem more trustable than the other, but you must do this screening and check for all the people that want to work in your company. If you don’t do that, it can happen that you’ll be blinded by someone’s exceptional CV and resume, and you will miss important things like previous employer recommendations and practical qualifications.

Talk to a Lawyer

In some states and countries, a background check can’t give you certain information. However, it can still give access to very sensitive data, so get legal advice to make sure your screening does not have legal ramifications. Because of that, you need to talk to a layer or a legal consultant and research every aspect of your activity. They will tell you how the laws work and how far can you go with your screening and check on your potential coworkers. Don’t miss this important step, so you won’t get in trouble because of ruining someone’s privacy.

Collect Information from Candidates

Your background check agency can start its search once applicants are aware of how their report will be used. Don’t forget to obtain their signed consent form. Most agencies will check watchlists, state, local, and national criminal records, ID verification records, and sex offender registries. Your reports will be accurate and comprehensive only if you can provide all the necessary information about your candidates to the agency.

For a basic check, you don’t need more than a full name, a birth date, and a Social Security number. For maximum accuracy and specific results, giving a current address can help. For international watchlist checks and driving record checks, you might need a passport or a driver’s license number.

Usually, the applicants give all the necessary information with their CV, resume, and motivational letter, and they provide their LinkedIn profile too. Even if we don’t say it loud, recruits can also check the public social media profiles, so they can get to know the candidate better. Yes, we know it’s not appropriate, but it happens, and people are accepting it.

Interpret and Review

Once the agency presents its findings, it must respond to your questions about the report’s contents. Refer to the employment policy and guidelines as you review the results.

It may be that the results of a candidate’s report will discourage you from hiring them. If this happens, you have to inform them accordingly and clarify the ways in which the report affected your decision. Know that candidates are allowed to dispute the report, and the process is not as easy as simply moving on with the other applicants. Also, you must respect the laws, and never dig deeper than it’s allowed, so you can show respect to the potential candidate, or even call them later or in a few years if you have an appropriate offer. And another one thing to keep in mind – if the candidate thinks your background check is inappropriate and ruins their privacy, they have a full right to take legal actions against you, so you must be prepared for that too.

This sums up our guide to background checks for beginners. We hope it will help you establish a transparent and effective screening process. Good luck! If completed properly, the check will make sure your new employees are exactly who you need.