FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM OCTOBER 22, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 23
Middle, high school and college students can win $500
BY QNS STAFF
As our city has been through many
challenges these last few months, we
know that one relevant issue and part
of so many kids’ lives is racism. We are
looking for middle school, high school
and college students to submit their stories
Key steps before returning to offi ce life
BY DOUG CLAFFEY
Employee feedback plays a vital role in
any return-to-work plan. Th e fi rst thing
leaders need to do – before any transition
plan is communicated to the staff
– is to gather employee feedback via a
short, targeted survey. Th is provides the
critical data needed to help inform a successful
Th ink of the return-to-work transition
plan in three phases:
• Planning input: Human resources, a
tiger team or a combination of both
develop a plan to return to the workplace.
• Post-decision: Make sure your plan is
clear and thorough before you begin to
• Post-return: Assess the transition, how
it went and where there are hotspots.
From the start, it’s important to capture
employee feedback while you are formulating
your plan. Th ere are two critical factors
• Who is at risk? Know how many of
your employees are at a higher risk
of serious complications from COVID.
Also, be aware of how many employees
are caregivers for people who have
complications for COVID. Employees
that are immunocompromised or have
breathing challenges are in a higher-risk
• Who has childcare challenges?
Childcare is one of the biggest pressure
points we’ve seen. Employees who
are caregivers to school-aged children,
particularly in the 5- to 10-year-old
range, require a lot of time and attention.
Schools, camps and other care settings
are probably not an option.
Focus your attention on three key topics
as you begin your transition:
• Productivity: Are people going to be
more productive as they come into the
• Emotions: What emotions are people
feeling? Th ese can range from fear to
• Logistics: Determine the who, what and
how logistics of returning to the workplace.
If employees are fearful of contracting
COVID, the way they perceive the workplace
is going to be diff erent than others.
Th ere’s a very good chance this will create
drama throughout your organization. But
if you can get out ahead of that, you can
really save yourself a headache and also
be more productive when you’re making
Lastly, this is the new reality. Be deliberate.
Be thoughtful. Make your employees
feel like they’re part of the planning
process and that their input matters.
And aft er you’ve communicated the
plan and started the rollout, continue to
collect their feedback so they feel valued
and heard. Th is is extremely important.
Because if you don’t put a lot of thought
into it, your business will suff er a significant
Doug Claff ey is founder of Energage, a
Philadelphia-based research and consulting
fi rm that surveyed more than 2 million
employees at more than 7,000 organizations
in 2019. Nominate your company as
a Top Workplace at amny.com/nominate.
Please send us your story, video or
TikTok and share your viewpoint or experience
with racism with the New York
community. Please enter Your Voice and
Your Viewpoint to Schneps Media by Oct.
30 at midnight.
Schneps Media and the Claire
Friedlander Foundation want to hear
your voice and your viewpointon your
experiences with RACISM.We invite students,
our future leaders, to share your
thoughts and feelings about your experiences.
Students can either choose from the following
prompts or submit work beyond
the prompts but still relate to the overall
goal of sharing YOUR VOICE AND
I experienced racism when …I’ve
fought against racism by …I was racially
profi led when …My fi rst experience with
racism was when …
Submit virtual or written entries limited
to 250 words either by email or by using the
social media, including Instagram or
TikTok. Video entries can be emailed to
com. Please include your name, age
and school with entries. Submissions will
be published in Schneps Media’s multiple
platforms of print, digital and broadcasting.
Two middle school students, two
high school and two college students
will each be awarded a prize of $500 by
a panel of Queensborough Community
College students. Submissions will be
accepted through Friday, Oct. 30, and
winners of the prize will be announced
on Nov. 6.
Submission can be emailed to
Photo via Getty Images