What are your people doing while on furlough?

As I type, companies across the UK are wrestling with the concept of furloughing staff. What can they do while they’re off? Nothing at all? Should we turn off their access to email? Stop them talking to clients? The lawyers I talk to are not definitive in their views, and certainly this smacks of government wonks with little understanding of how small businesses operate, and that cashflowing all those employees is not an easy task. At this time, furloughed workers could be the vital cog that keeps businesses… well, in business.

While we work out the answer to that quandary, one thing is certain. Your furloughed workers have time on their hands. They could be worried about their future job, or delighted that they’ve got time to paint the hall; they have certainly never been more available to take a recruiter’s call or look around for a new opportunity.

Keeping hold of your furloughed workers might not be top of your mind at the moment. But this period will pass, and when it does, bringing your workforce back at the top of their game is crucial.

So what to do?

  • Employee engagement, a buzzword for so many years, has never been more important. Look after your furloughed workers’ mental health, absolutely, with guidance that you can find everywhere – we found The Kaleidoscope Group’s messages useful and inspiring in equal measure.
  • Keep those group chats going, keep them informed about the state of the business and what new opportunities are on the horizon, talk about life, the universe and everything. Listen to their concerns. Be the leader you need to be. If you can, joining a network like Vistage is tremendously helpful, both to maintain your own sanity and to give you valuable perspective on what to do next.
  • And don’t forget the flip side to the coin. There are thousands upon thousands of furloughed workers who have never been more receptive to a call. This could be your golden opportunity to hire some of the best talent out there.

As your complete recruitment department, we can help you to secure the best while you focus on retaining your stars.