Start the new school year on the right foot

07
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09
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2023
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Start the new school year on the right foot
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The start of the new school year is fast approaching, and - with it - comes the end of vacation and the return to work for most of us.

For managers, office managers and HR staff, the back-to-school period is a key time for implementing new best practices and managing human resources effectively.

In this article, we'd like to help you prepare for this crucial time of year, with our advice and suggestions for best practice, to get you off to a flying start this autumn!

Back-to-school risks

Back-to-school is an important time for companies, as it marks the start of a new working year. The challenges you face are manifold.

First of all, your teams may be overloaded with work when they return from their summer vacations. Summer is a time for generating new ideas and launching new projects, which - in turn - bring with them a host of tasks to deal with.

This sudden increase in workload can lead to stress and motivation problems for your employees. They have to adapt quickly to this intense work rhythm, which is very different from the one they adopt during the vacations!

Furthermore, if your company is in a growth phase, it's likely that you've suggested that your new employees start work in the autumn, rather than in the middle of summer. It's not always possible to carry out effective onboarding while the bulk of your staff are on vacation.

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🫵 According to a 2022 Studyrama survey of 1,002 employees, 61% of French people associate the return to work with depression. And only 7% are enthusiastic about returning to work. The impact of the Covid pandemic was very significant on our compatriots' perception of this post-summer period. 🫵

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The back-to-school period is therefore also associated with the integration and training of new team members, an exciting but time-consuming task!

Finally, new practices may have been decided upon over the summer, and the return to work is an opportunity to spread the good habits throughout your team. This is a very good thing, but these changes often lead to cultural and behavioral resistance, which needs to be managed tactfully and sympathetically.

Best practices for a successful back-to-school season

Here are our practical tips to activate as soon as you return from vacation. The key is to prevent burn-outs and demotivation among some of your employees:

Support new employees. If you're integrating new recruits into your team, we advise you to invest in their induction, integration and training. The first few weeks at the company play a vital role in the commitment of new employees. So put every chance of success on your side, right from the start! Organization is key, and onboarding must be prepared in advance, which is why we advise you to set up :

  • A step-by-step onboarding action plan and expectations.
  • A maximum of process and template, which will save you time as a manager and enable the newcomer to be autonomous and clear about his tasks.

Take stock of the previous year's objectives. We also recommend taking advantage of the back-to-school period to take a step back, by reviewing the projects and objectives achieved in the first part of the year. This will enable you to identify your successes and failures, which will make it easier to put in place appropriate strategies for the coming year. Once you've taken stock of the past year, put your plans in place:

  • New SMART objectives.
  • A calendar of actions to be taken throughout the year to anticipate and boost your success.

Communicate about future projects. Your employees want to be able to project themselves into the future, in the context of their professional activity. That's why it's important to communicate transparently about upcoming projects. For effective communication, we advise you to find new internal communication channels so that you can disseminate information effectively, and thus engage your employees in your projects.

Plan training. Your team is probably also keen to develop its skills and knowledge. The back-to-school period is the ideal time to plan relevant training courses for the months ahead. In this way, you show your employees that you are investing in their personal development and career progression.

Organize team-building outings. The weather still lends itself to the back-to-school season, so take advantage of this time of year to organize team-building activities for your team. They can be highly beneficial in strengthening team bonds and creating a more motivating working environment.

Create a space for relaxation and well-being. If your team isn't already doing so, we also advise you to reduce back-to-school stress by creating a space dedicated to relaxation and well-being on your premises. For example, you could dedicate a room to resting or napping, offer a corner with games or relaxing activities, or even offer your team in-house meditation or yoga sessions!

Offer flexible working hours. The start of the new school year is often synonymous with changes in your employees' routines. To ease this transition, you might consider introducing flexible working hours. Offering employees the possibility of choosing their own working hours or benefiting from occasional teleworking days can help them better reconcile their professional and personal lives. This in turn boosts their motivation and commitment.

If you're thinking of changing your work organization model (full remote, free or supervised hybrid...), the start of the new school year is a good time to begin the transition.

Back to school: prepare and anticipate, to make the most of it!

As we've seen, the start of the new school year is a time to get to grips with, whether you're a manager, office manager or HR manager.

All the practical advice we've provided, from employee support to setting future objectives, is designed to help prevent any problems.

You can also take advantage of the back-to-school period to plan recruitment and launch new projects that will motivate your team.

And to save time managing all your trade-in projects, consider discovering Rzilient's all-in-one IT asset management platform.

Written by

Mathieu Maréchal

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