Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: motivating furloughed employees.

This year we’ve heard a lot about employees furloughed due to the coronavirus. Furloughed is defined as “…an unpaid leave of absence. While furloughed employees still technically retain their jobs, the furlough itself means that they cease working for their employers and do not earn a salary. The idea is that this is a temporary arrangement, and workers will one day be able to return to their jobs.”  

For many, these furloughs have lasted 5 months, with several states still not allowing employees back to work. Now that we’re weeks into reopening, employees have been welcomed back, but some are finding it difficult to stay motivated (which can directly impact the success of your company). Below, we outline 4 tips for engaging and motivating furloughed employees so they feel excited to get back to business 


Be there for extra support
During this time especially, everyone has their own struggles, whether professional, personal, or financial. As their manager, one priority should be to create an environment at work where employees feel comfortable and supported. To do so, it may involve providing extra support in terms of communicating, listening, and understanding. Being empathetic will show your team that you care about them as people, not just employees, making them more enthusiastic about returning to work. Consider opening additional lines of communication or holding daily meetings to check in on each other – this is a great way to keep the line of communication open when motivating furloughed employees. 

Emphasize company values
A great motivator is to remind your team why they enjoy working with your business in the first place. If you’re a restaurant, maybe it’s the ability to connect with a guest. If you’re a hotel, maybe it’s meeting new people. Whatever the case may be, reigniting those feelings they first had when they were hired could be the boost they need.  

Plan on meeting before the big return
Returning to work can feel overwhelming, especially during a pandemic. Plan to hold a ‘returning to work’ meeting in order to share any relevant company updates and to give employees a chance to ask questions or share concerns about going back to work (if any). It’s important to really listen to what your team is saying and to address any concerns before their first shift back.  

Utilize their skills
As employees return to work, it’s a good time to reevaluate their skills and how they can be utilized. This will not only reduce the need to hire, it will also serve as a way to engage and retain employees. According to a 2018 report by LinkedIn, 93% of employees would stay at their company longer if managers showed interest in developing their careers through upskilling. Added income because of a new skill is a great reason to be motivated.  

Motivating furloughed employees is necessary for maintaining retention and supporting your workforce. The main takeaway is, that by showing your employees that you’re invested in their well-being and success, they’ll feel engaged and motivated to work, even during these challenging times.  


Does your staff need a break? LGC provides temporary workers to supplement your workforce – contact us today.