Sunday, October 15, 2017

Helping Your Employees Tackle Tragedy

How You can Help Your Employees deal with Tragedy
Are You and Your Company Prepared to Tackle Tragedy?

Tragedies happen. As a country we have endured hurricanes and tornadoes, devastating wildfires, and horrific mass shootings. And now we have had to deal with the latest, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whenever anything of this magnitude occurs, we all find ourselves riveted to news shows, daily government updates, and social media posts covering these stories. We follow the path of the storms and wildfires. We become saturated with information about the shooter and the victims. Even interviews with those effected are on 24/7.

Many grapple with feelings of horror, helplessness, and anger. And it is impossible to think that these feelings don’t carry over into the workplace.

It is even worse when the acts of violence, natural disasters, or this virus directly impact one or more of your employees, their families, or even your company. Stories of disgruntled workers who go on a rampage or ex-employees who return to exact some sort of revenge, while not common, do happen. 

If your employees are working from home, they may have to juggle job expectations along with child care and possibly having to help their children with daily school work. And if your company ends up struggling financially due to any of this, on top of it all your employees may end up feeling helpless and scared about their future.  

The bottom line is this ~ if a tragedy occurs, whether in our out of the workplace, it is sure to have an impact on you and your employees. That is why it is crucial for you to be proactive and create policies to deal with them before they happen. 

For example, when it comes to workplace violence, you can start by prohibiting any type of weapon in the workplace and establishing physical security measures like controlled entry and strategically placed cameras. Adopting a zero tolerance policy for any type of workplace harassment and violence is also key.

You can find out more steps you can take to protect your employees from workplace violence in “Dangers to Your Small Business Part 3 ~ Violence and Drugs in the Workplace”!

You may also want to consider how you would handle employees who are dealing with health issues, the loss of their home, or even the loss of a loved one due to any one of these tragedies.

But no matter what the cause, developing a plan to help guide you through, long before a tragedy strikes, makes good sense.

It is possible that your employees may be effected both physically and emotionally by these incidents. While the physical injuries are most easily understood, it is often the emotional impact that can go unrecognized or untreated.

So, what can you do to help your employees?
It is important that you provide, or give them and their families access to, the support they need.

Reach Out  
Offer your support and, whenever possible, a chance for your employees to come together and share, even if that needs to be virtually. What is most important here is that they know you care and that they are not alone.

Establish a Plan to Accommodate Employees’ Grief and/or Injuries 
This is especially important if violence occurred within your workplace, close by, or involved family or friends. But you also may need to help them deal with personal losses that happen outside of the workplace or the financial impact of business closures and loss of income. 

Establish Time Off and Leave Policies
This can be essential for those who have been closely impacted by a tragedy. These employees may need additional time to help them not only heal but deal with issues that effect their families. 

Find a Way to Make a Difference
Organize efforts to donate time, supplies, or money to help those impacted. The key here is to find a way to work together as a team and help your employees, or even their families, feel more in control.

Discover more about the steps your company can take in “What You can Do to Help Your Employees Deal with Tragedy”!

No matter what methods you choose, helping your employees through a difficult time does good on many levels.

It shows through actions, not just words, that your employees matter. That you empathize with what they are going through and truly want to help.

Kindness Makes a Difference
In the end, doing what you can to prevent tragedies within the workplace, recognizing the impact of those that occur outside your company, and establishing ways to help your employees deal with both is simply the right thing to do.  
And that is important for both your employees and your business!

Authored by   

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