Employee fears, as well as real threats of danger, pose immediate and long-term challenges to those who supervise others. Managing a workforce that has been traumatized by past or current events, or experiencing anxiety about possible future events, is both a challenge and an obligation. Leaders at all levels play an important role in providing guidance through traumatic events. Here are 5 important actions to take to help employees cope in times of crisis.
Develop a Strategy. Consult with ACI on a preparedness plan, policies regarding absenteeism, and effective strategies to address employees coping with difficult emotions. ACI’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide services and resources to address the incident depending on the level of impact.
Connect and Communicate. Crisis is a time for managers to listen and be present. It may help to arrange social activities, such as planning a memorial or fundraising event, or to hold forums for management and employees to engage in informal discussions. ACI’s EAP can provide critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) sessions as well as training sessions and webinars on topics such as Stress and Anxiety Management, Coping with Traumatic Events, Parenting in Troubled Times, and more.
Give Employees Time to Process. A variety of feelings are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Give employees the time and tools to process feelings and let them know it is okay to ask for help. Provide information about available resources, including ACI’s EAP. Avoid over-reacting or under-reacting, as these approaches usually only increase anxiety and fear in the workplace.
Encourage Positive Thinking. Realize that things will get better and set a positive tone while being realistic and flexible about the time it takes for individuals to cope. Limit exposure to media coverage. With the 24/7 news cycle, it’s easy to get caught up in looking up the latest news and updates. Make periodic announcements of relevant information as needed, but do not encourage employees to watch or browse news excessively.
Stay Focused. Make efforts to maintain regular routines. By working, maintaining dignity and productivity, listening with sensitivity, and being courageous, managers and supervisors can set the example for the workplace.
Learn how ACI’s Crisis Ready program can provide comprehensive pre-planning and custom crisis support to help your organization prepare for and survive critical incidents, natural disasters and traumatic events. Request a free vulnerability audit today.