By Steve Czerniak, Subject Matter Expert, SCORE of Southeast Michigan

As businesses reopen, thought and effort should be put into helping people transition back into the workplace. People work in teams. People interact with colleagues and customers. Things will have changed in the workplace. Leaders need to help their people transition into the new normal. The following checklist format might give business owners some ideas on things to cover to help bring people back.



  • PPE - Required Use, How to Use; Where to Get; When to Change
  • Cleaning - Upkeep on the Facility; Disinfection of Products
  • Testing - Daily Temperature, COVID, Antibodies

Customer Interaction

  • Set expectations for how to iInteract with customers. Put it in writing.
  • Identify new rules for customer interaction
  • How to ensure the infectious safety of products

How to Handle…

  • A customer with no mask
  • A customer who breaks social distance guidelines
  • Supplier interaction
  • Set expectations for how to interact with incoming shipments.
  • Identify new rules for interaction with salespeople
  • Dealing with bias 
  • Race, religion, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation


  • Coping Mechanisms in the time of COVID
  • Accepting Change in the Workplace
  • “Survivor Syndrome” - about those who haven’t been asked back; about those who catch the disease; about those who have died


Update Team Charters

  • Members and Participants
  • Operating as Virtual Teams - Perhaps a Mix of On-Site and at Home
  • Operating Norms for Teams
  • How to Conduct Meetings


  • So employees in the workplace and working from home get rewarded and recognized
  • The IT and software associated with work from home
  • Consequences for failing to follow directions


  • What shields mean to people
  • What masks mean to people
  • No handshakes
  • Changes in processes or tools to accommodate the changed organization
  • Changes in staff: Some of the staff might not have been asked back. How does that affect pperations?


(down the organization, between peers, up the organization)

  • Welcome Back Briefing - A small re-onboarding: What’s different?
  • Regularly Boost Morale - Face-to-face; broadcast email; lead by walking aound; say "thank you"
  • Reminders and Feedback on Safety, Customer Interaction, Bias - Consider posters, regular emails or computer screen pop-ups
  • Leader Open to Ideas and Feedback - Welcome ideas on how to improve from the people who are doing

About the Author

Steve Czerniak retired after a successful 37-year career as a leader and innovator. The last 15 years were a series of opportunities that honed his skills as an internal consultant and “change agent.” In retirement, he is a volunteer consultant and a SCORE Subject Matter Expert for the Southeast Michigan chapter. His personal volunteer objective is to “derive personal satisfaction from helping others, and the organizations they operate, to develop and prosper.” Visit his site:

A Checklist for Hitting the "Restart" Button