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Reboarding: Returning To Work After The Stay At Home Orders End

Practical actions you can take to make workers feel comfortable returning to the workplace.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. As business leaders have been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders, they have likely had to embark on the complicated and emotional journey of implementing business and continuity plans, modifying internal processes and procedures, and transitioning to a virtual work setting.

As restrictions begin to loosen, businesses and their employees are planning a new journey. Get insights and actions you can take in Health Action Council’s new ebook, "Reboarding: Learning from the Past to Prepare for the Future." 

Health Action Council has gathered insights from six extraordinary individuals who have faced adversity or tragedy in the past and who are now well-positioned to see a difficult situation with hope.

“Through their stories, these resilient individuals provided strategies to navigate transitions and overcome difficult times,” said Patty Starr, President and CEO of Health Action Council. “Their reflections combined with best practices from research give us recommendations on how to best support employees as they enter the workplace following the COVID-19 restrictions.” 

“Over the past few months we have experienced a great pause, pandemonium, and uncertainty,” said Starr. “Each day brings new challenges, but we know that there are life events and times in history where the human spirit has overcome tough situations. We have been called upon to be flexible, forgiving, and discerning. Know that there is light at the end of this tunnel. We should harness these experiences to lay the foundation for new opportunities moving forward.”

There are five core tactics for employers to have in mind such as:

  • Even though every employee will have a different set of needs, Get Back to Basics by encouraging dialogue with your employees, and between your employees. The act of simply carving out time to listen to individuals’ needs will send the message to employees that you care and you’re there to support them. 
  • Many interviewees shared a sense of being able to fully accept the current status while holding on to hope for the future. That equates to resiliency. Mind your Mind—organizations and individuals who demonstrate resilience will successfully reboard their employees and create a new normal. 
  • During times of transition, it is important to open up the lines of communication. Communicate, Connect, and Co-create by cascading information down and encouraging staff to share their needs, stories, ideas, and observations back up the chain. 
  • A somewhat surprising theme that emerged was around joy and Celebration. Regardless of the motive, celebration, and appreciation for your staff will provide them a renewed sense of energy and optimism. 
  • After you clean up the confetti from your celebrations, Get Ahead of the Game, by evaluating your plan and identifying how to make it even better from what you learned.

Get more insights and actions you can take in the ebook, "Reboarding: Learning from the Past to Prepare for the Future." 

About Health Action Council
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid- and large-size employers that enhances human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees.

Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community. For more information, please visit

About the Authors and Advisors
Authors: Patty Starr, President and CEO, Health Action Council, Laura Mendelow, MAOD, PCC, Owner of MCG and Amy N. Swanson, MPA, Consultant to Health Action Council. Advisors: Jessica Kochin re-entered the working world as a Corporate Executive after having two children, Andrew Miller experienced being quarantined during the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003, Linda Post, M.D. transitioned as the Medical Director of UnitedHealthcare to retirement, Assem Nasr shared stories of his childhood in Lebanon during their civil war from 1975-1990, Brandon Edwin Chrostowski works to support re-entry for people who have been incarcerated and Retired Sgt. First Class Greg Stecklow was deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and numerous natural disaster relief efforts.

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