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Why Do Businesses Need Effective Back-to-Work Strategies?

Regardless of how skilled you are at work or how pleasant your workplace is, there may come a time in your career when you need to consider taking a professional break. It might be for personal reasons, such as caring for a family member, taking parental leave, going on sabbatical, or simply because the circumstances require you to take a career break. Whatever the reason for your career break, returning to work after a long vacation might be daunting since not only have you lost contact with work, but there is a lot more to learn and grasp as the industry advances. Carol Fishman Cohen, human resource consultant and CEO of iRelaunch, provides practical advice on why businesses need successful back-to-work strategies in this podcast episode from the ‘HBR IdeaCast’ channel on Google Podcasts.

Cohen goes on to explain that back-to-work programs are essentially programs for people who have chosen to go on a professional break or an extended sabbatical and then want to return to work. She advises that the employers provide two approaches: the returnships method, which is internship-based return-to-work programs, and the direct hire programs. According to her, these programs typically include some form of transitional training tailored to persons returning from a multi-year work sabbatical. Back-to-work programs often include mentorship, activities, and other specialized programming. She says that a returnship period is when someone is recruited for a set length of time but the firm view them as someone they want to keep. She proposes that managers in charge of back-to-work programs design them in such a manner that they become a leadership development program. She believes that pairing the person with a senior champion in a relevant subject is critical to making the ‘return to work’ a success. Aside from that, she proposes that one individual be given ownership of the program so that it may be carried out with a consistent approach throughout and operate smoothly for everyone. This also lowers the possibility of the program unexpectedly stopping if the person designated to handle it quits the firm. Finally, she suggests that it is critical for companies to regularly organize such programs because it not only allows them to mentor potential employees so that they produce an outcome that aligns with the company’s interests but also allows employees to return to work after a long break and regain confidence.

Back-to-work programs are quite effective in acquiring some of the top talents and mentoring them in such a way that they create results that are in the best interests of the firm. Learn more about such programs in this podcast episode on the ‘HBR IdeaCast’ channel on the ‘Google Podcasts’ platform from Carol Fishman Cohen, human resource consultant and CEO of iRelaunch.

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