The Pickleball Method: A 2023 Reset for Human Resource Departments

  • Employer strategies
  • 4/27/2023
Couple Playing Pickleball

Key insights

  • Start your reset process with a complete review and update of your employee handbook.
  • For organizations working toward a state of normalcy, evaluate current and changed practices and clearly communicate new policies to your staff.
  • Hybrid work arrangements should incorporate finding ways for employees to connect and build relationships.

Get help navigating your organization's reset.

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In pickleball, a reset means taking a difficult shot, hitting a return with the intent of slowing it down, and getting your team back into a rally. Organizations moving beyond the challenges of three years of COVID can use this same method to “reset” their working conditions by evaluating current human resource policies, processes, and changes to the way they do business.

Take advantage of this opportunity to readjust your compliance and employee interactions for today and into the future.

Taking the difficult shot

Start your reset process with a complete review and update of your employee handbook. Beyond flexible scheduling rules, make sure state and local updates and changes — including Family and Medical Leave and minimum wage and Fair Labor Standards Act guidelines — are reflected in your policies. If you need assistance, consider working with a professional HR advisor.

Take time to evaluate your organization's current state and your needed or desired state. The gap between the two provides an opportunity to implement changes. Be clinical in creating a laundry list of challenges to address — then prioritize those that are most important, need the assistance of your leadership or legal counsel, or can be addressed immediately.

Slowing it down

Many organizations faced the challenges of office shutdowns by hiring staff in remote locations. Additionally, many existing staff temporarily — or, in some cases, permanently — relocated out of state to take advantage of lower costs and better weather.

For organizations working toward a state of normalcy, an evaluation of current and changed practices is in order. This includes checking to see if you have followed proper protocol in setting up unemployment insurance and workers' compensation insurance for remote employees.

Some organizations that made changes to their policies on hybrid and remote work are now clawing them back. Many have returned to in-person office attendance and others have gone to flexible arrangements. However, these policies and communications have not often reflected the new way of working. This can lead to confusion and employee dissatisfaction.

Employers that hired out-of-state workers with a fixed office location need to address how they are going to move forward. Will you maintain remote workers and, if not, how will you address this challenge? Many organizations now conduct meetings with both onsite and remote workers. Even with the best technological setups, this can be challenging.

Where possible, consider “all-hands” days at work sites. For organizations that have gone mostly remote, holding a periodic onsite meeting can help build engagement and teamwork. Costs of gathering everyone together in one place may be an issue, but cost savings from remote work can often help offset this expense.

Rallying your team

Adversity often creates opportunity. Hybrid work arrangements should incorporate finding ways for employees to connect and build relationships. It is difficult to have a water cooler or coffee machine conversation on a video call.

The new challenge of connecting onsite and remote workers is no longer the exception, but the rule. Meetings that incorporate remote workers need to include a few minutes of chat time. Encourage staff to log on a couple of minutes early to interact, or provide a few minutes at the beginning or end of a meeting for online employees to catch up with their peers.

How we can help

Making time to build a stable, thriving workforce can have a long-term positive impact on your organizational goals. CLA's Talent Solutions team is available to help you navigate your reset and build comprehensive HR strategies and processes that work for your organization.

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