How Employers Can Help During a Tragedy

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Work isn’t just work, it’s a part of our lives. For many of us, it’s one of the biggest parts of our lives. We get up, we get dressed and we get ready to face the day. In light of recent tragedies, you may find that facing the day is more difficult than usual. As an employer, one of the noblest steps you can take during a crisis situation is to acknowledge the suffering and provide the resources to help your employees move forward. We hope that these tips might help your organization cope during a tragedy.

Make Sure Your People Are Safe

If a volatile situation unfolds in a place where your organization does business, check in with your employees. You need to know if any member of your team is directly affected. Knowledge gives you the power to act and helps you gauge how deeply your organization as a whole will be impacted.

Acknowledge the Incident

When a major tragedy occurs, it is important to acknowledge it. Unfortunate events weigh heavy on the hearts and minds of your employees, especially those who are personally affected. Sending a message of support gives employees space to express their needs and a platform to be honest about upcoming challenges.

Create a Crisis Management Plan

Unless you have created a crisis management plan, your leadership team may be unsure how to respond. The depth, detail and content of your plan will change based on how drastically your employees are impacted. Your plan could include:

  • Advice on how to effectively communicate with someone who is hurting
  • Recommended modifications to certain rules or procedures
    • ex: No electronic devices or social media during working hours
  • Accommodations that can be offered to those in need
  • Modifications to deadlines, productivity targets and/or priorities

Offer a Safe Space for Discussion

After a tragedy occurs, discussion can be incredibly cathartic. The best way to offer assistance is through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor or comparable mental health professional. If your organization does not have the resources to provide an EAP counselor, then consult your HR professional about acceptable alternatives.

Compile a list of resources

There are services that you simply can’t provide as an employer. That’s okay. There are other organizations that exist to fill those gaps. Compiling a list will help direct those in need. The list can range from hotlines and counseling to volunteer opportunities and community resources.

When it’s all said and done, life finds its way into work. Our joy and our sadness aren’t always parts of ourselves that we can or should separate from the workplace. We believe that the healthiest work environments embrace the human element of their workforce. The Adecco family is wishing your team safety and strength, no matter what they are going through.

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