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Video: Reintegrating into the physical workplace – Have we forgotten how to behave?

For so many of us it feels really good to be back in the workplace, especially seeing our colleagues again.

But with a workforce that has been largely working from home, alone, for almost 2 years, have we been isolated for too long? Are our social skills a little rusty and we’ve simply forgotten how to behave?

Jimmy Carr hit the headlines with his Holocaust ‘joke’ and, quite rightly, was vilified for it. Extreme though this example may be, the fact remains it is all too easy to say something inappropriate, hurtful or offensive.

In this Video Paul Deemer (Head of Diversity and Inclusion at NHS Employers), Jiten Patel (Director of Diversync Limited) and Caroline Shafar (Partner and Joint Head of Healthcare Employment) explore this issue and what employers should be doing to reintegrate staff into a workplace that is respectful.

After the discussion Jiten and Paul have put together 5 five key takeaway points to ensure your workplace reintegrates effectively and respectfully.

  1. Avoid being overly prescriptive in determining what is acceptable / unacceptable language and behaviour. This can lead to people feeling disengaged.
  2. If there are explicit and implicit rules which govern workplace language and behaviour it helps to make the implicit, explicit. For example, call a team meeting, where each voice is heard, to come to a collective agreement on what is and isn’t acceptable.
  3. Peer pressure can be as much of a problem in the workplace as it is in the classroom. Leaders will benefit from learning to lookout for both blatant and subtle signs that can affect ‘other’ members of their teams
  4. No one is saying that you can no longer have a joke with colleagues. There is plenty of research evidencing that banter can increase morale in the workplace. The key lies in laughing with everyone, rather than laughing at someone.
  5. We are all human and we can make mistakes. Consciously Inclusive Leaders are not just open to feedback, but actively seek feedback from their teams. From such vulnerability, immense strength manifests.

If you have any questions on this issue or for more information, please get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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