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How HR and Employers Can Assist Their Employees When Tragedy Strikes

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Understanding how tragic events affect individuals is not a novel idea; attaining this degree of empathy is a challenge that predates civilization. Whether we choose to be informed or not, we are continually exposed to crises and threats of all sizes as a result of technology. And while it's not always simple to see how negatively catastrophic events are impacting your employees' mental health, there's no need to assume it isn't. Even if most of your employees don't talk about the news, it will probably affect their ability to concentrate or be productive.

Although HR cannot influence the news cycle, HR executives have a responsibility to assist lessen the effects of disasters and support staff so they feel protected. We've developed a list of specific, doable strategies to assist your employees' health as they cope with unfortunate occurrences to help you through some potentially uncomfortable talks.

1.Ask Questions

If your team is dispersed, your first goal following a disaster should be to get in touch with the workers who were most directly affected. The greatest approach to show them you care is to reach out to them personally and find out what they need the most, if you can.

However, even if you lack the means to respond promptly on a personal level, you should still meet with a few people, managers, and all of your teams to find out how your staff members and their families are affected. Even people who are not personally affected by the disaster might experience increased anxiety or require emotional assistance.

Distance isn't the only thing that defines proximity. Think about how news of yet another school shooting affects parents worldwide, or how news of racially motivated violence in one location affects people of color everywhere. Emotional closeness should be taken into account when deciding how you will react to situations like these and others.

Consider sending an anonymous survey or setting up a suggestion box if you notice that employees are unwilling to communicate their thoughts with you. You could discover details that workers weren't ready to disclose at the time or that they felt too exposed to disclose in person.

2.Resource Exchange

Even though resources for mental health seem to be easily accessible, when workers are going through an emotionally trying moment, they may not have the energy to find them. HR can help at this point, but be careful to explore for options that will provide relief right away as you do so.

3.Give plenty of time to rest

It drains you to be around tragedy all the time. If your workers are distracted with the emotional aftermath of a tragedy, some of them may find it difficult to focus on their professional duties. This is the time to let empathy take the lead and acknowledge that employees always benefit from a mental health vacation, especially considering the stress many have already been suffering over the previous two years.

But increasingly, even the idea of a "break" has changed. Since many of us work from home these days, feeling always "on" might hasten burnout. Proactively giving your employees time off is a terrific method to give them space and aid in their ability to restore perspective.

4.Promoting a Listening Culture

You may have noticed an increase in chitchat during meetings during the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic; with the strain of increasing cases, testing, and lockdown, human interaction turned into a valuable resource. In the aftermath of what seems like a constant stream of public disasters, that tendency could be holding.

Your first source of assistance in this case will be your manager. They have the power to foster a climate of transparency inside the team and provide a forum for workers to voice their fears. Create an open atmosphere by teaching your supervisors to actively listen.

Remind managers to take a sympathetic and attentive stance during these discussions and to give the dialogue room to proceed in a constructive, expressive way.

5.Encourage action and prepare a plan before you need it.

It is crucial that you act the part of an HR expert during a crisis. It's an opportunity for you to act and lend assistance as a leader in your company.

There are always those in need of assistance or of resources in order to be able to assist those who are in need, regardless of the catastrophe. Your staff may experience a sense of accomplishment by making a team donation of time or money. People can benefit greatly from using this change from helplessness to action to help them deal with the chaos around them.

Even while it's impossible to anticipate what type of catastrophe will occur next, we may be assured that something will. And while if we can't stop horrible things from happening, HR professionals can lessen the effect sad events have on employees and aid in the healing process for their teams.

Pay attention to what your staff has to say, allow them time and space to recover, provide them with the resources they require, and support their initiative. These little steps will go a long way in assisting your staff members individually, enhancing the resilience of your workplace as a whole.

Tips by IceHrm, an HR platform that will help you streamline your HR activities.

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