As businesses reopen, organizations must factor employee concerns into their current and post-pandemic strategy plans, including when and how to bring employees back to work safely. While Australians are regaining confidence of their safety both inside and outside of the workplace, they still have major concerns.

Two successive waves of Forrester’s PandemicEX survey reveals the employee experience of 536 employed Australian adults. In a new report by Forrester’s analysts in Australia, we looked into the data to understand the impact that COVID-19 continues to have on employees and factor this into business recovery strategies.

Here are Forrester’s key recommendation:

  • Prioritize customer empathy among employees. Cultivating empathy and trust internally helps to boost employee engagement and improve the employee experience (EX). This is critical for building customer empathy and supporting ongoing customer experience (CX) initiatives.
  • Invest in programs to improve employee confidence. Increased employee peace of mind fuels productivity, confidence, and effectiveness. Programs and guidance for promoting financial well-being and mental health are key.
  • Address employee concerns as part of any office or facility reopening plans. All firms need to consider and manage the legal, regulatory, and operational risks of pandemic recovery. In addition to addressing the mechanics of returning to work, formalize a communication plan with the appropriate frequency, empathy, and clarity.

Forrester’s team of analysts in Australia are available for additional commentary.