Advice for Managers From Previous Returners

There is so much you can do to ensure your new employees return to work is a success. We have collected some top tips from Returners we’ve worked with.


Prepare ahead of time:

  • Prepare a detailed job description
  • Consider what you need to communicate, both the small things and bigger picture
  • Have a current ‘new joiner’ pack ready
  • The first few weeks need to be about familiarisation, learning the basics, and networking
  • Appoint and brief a Buddy
  • Share with the whole team the challenges and benefits so that they can offer support
  • Ensure you are prepared so that things start on a positive note


Understand new returners’ skills and experience:

  • Get to know the person joining and respect their previous experience
  • Focus on their skills, don’t let lack of recent experience overly concern you
  • Encourage them to share their fresh perspectives


Outline expectations:

  • Provide context of what has to be done
  • Make expectations clear
  • Clarify what needs to be delivered
  • Ensure you are both clear of working patterns
  • Ask what help they need


Avoid bias and assumptions:

  • We may need give extra time at the start to get up to speed, when at speed we have so much to offer, but early days can be overwhelming
  • Be careful before introducing us as ‘Returners’ – the label can bring unhelpful assumptions, new to the organisation might be enough
  • Be aware of any prejudice / assumptions / unconscious bias – we are all different
  • Don’t confuse ‘insecurity’ with ‘inability’
  • Be understanding in the early days of our need to manage our personal situations (young children, dependants in the family etc), it soon settles down


Be accessible and communicate regularly:

  • Be super accessible first few months
  • Commit to a weekly 1hr meeting with us – it really helps
  • Feedback regularly
  • Simple and small things can be huge encouragements


Proactively involve new returner:

  • Help us to integrate by making introductions, invitations to meetings etc.
  • Regularly review progress with us, we want to work together to develop the best working approach
  • If our working pattern clashes with a meeting / task / responsibility work with us to find a solution that works for us all
  • Help us work out what further training may be helpful i.e. systems / tools / technical / management