It’s Not ‘Return to Work,’ It’s ‘Return to Us’

You have no doubt heard or read others proclaiming: “Stop saying: ‘Return to work’. We’ve been working this whole time! And, we’ve been working longer, harder, and in more challenging ways than ever before!” You know what? They’re right. If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that this past year, regardless of industry, profession, etc., we’ve all had to work harder and more creatively than ever before. So it’s simply wrong to now focus on how to ‘return to work.’ Instead, we need to focus on how to work productively and collegially again whether it’s in-person, in a hybrid format, or in a refined remote format.

We need to focus on how to work productively and collegially again whether it’s in-person, in a hybrid format, or in a refined remote format.

Team members not performing their work hasn’t been an issue. Our teams have performed under incredible circumstances this past year. Attracting team members, keeping team members, and then ensuring our team members work well together, well, that’s where the problems lie. AND, that’s where the problems will continue to be and potentially escalate when we return to in-person, or shift to a formalized hybrid or refined remote work format. How are we addressing interpersonal conflicts over disparate views of politics, vaccines, masks, or working arrangements? How are we addressing snide chat comments or posts that belittle fellow team members or others or their beliefs? What are we doing so team members feel safe, wanted, included, and respected? What are we doing so team members want to join us and stay with us, and will actually enjoy working here and with each other? What are we doing to be a better version of ‘us’?

What are we doing to be a better version of ‘us’?

How do we become a better version of ourselves? First, we hit pause and re-evaluate who we’ve been, who we want to be, and who we want to serve. What type of organization were we before COVID? What made us effective? What allowed us to be successful? What drew team members to us? What did we do that wow’d our customers? What’s changed? What type of company do we want to be? What do we want our reputation and brand to be in the market? Why? Who do we want as customers? Why? How do we want our employees to feel about their work, the customers, and this company? Why?

When we clarify these touchpoints, we can reassess if our company culture and values align with our targeted outcomes. If so, let’s re-engage with greater clarity and intention. If not, we need to immediately redefine who we want to be, what we expect of ourselves and of everyone working with us, and how we’ll hold ourselves and others accountable. How firmly we commit to our culture and our employee community, the more clearly we can demonstrate and communicate our company personality to current and prospective employees. We need to do it and do it intentionally and consistently.

The sooner we start to ‘live’ our company values and demonstrate our clarified culture, the sooner others can decide whether or not they want to join us.



Copyright MMXXI – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!



Liz Weber CMC CSP

Liz Weber CMC

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.



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