Here’s how HR directors handle returning to the office after the holidays

“When people come back [after the holidays], I keep track of if the coffee’s good, my hair looks normal, how I’m handling stress, if the paper in my desk is organized. If I see…

Here’s how HR directors handle returning to the office after the holidays

“When people come back [after the holidays], I keep track of if the coffee’s good, my hair looks normal, how I’m handling stress, if the paper in my desk is organized. If I see something that’s out of place, I give them a heads up. It’s more to make sure they’re OK. Then I look for things that are off with their coworkers, too.

I know my team wants to be seen as being in good shape, so we monitor things pretty closely. If someone has only been out a few days and all their work still needs to be completed — a lot of times it’s just a few documents or a whole new business development that’s not in the memo — then it’s usually easy to walk them through it.

There’s no one way to come back. We went through an entire plan with everybody. If people are just coming back to work and they’re super pressed, then we might go through all of their work and take it in order to make sure they are handled as carefully as possible. But sometimes people are so used to having a good year that they just need some work to get done. So I would say both are great.

It’s definitely easier for some people to pull it together than others. We would suggest everyone to give themselves a couple of days to get back into it before they start work in earnest. And go through their work, ask themselves how comfortable are they with the workflow going forward, and think, how can I make that feel fresh? Then repeat that process on each person going forward. It’s kind of like a going-away party for them to check in with them about how things are going and see if they’ll come back in a week, a month, even two weeks to see how things are progressing.”

-Christine Scallan, manager of compliance, Booz Allen Hamilton

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