Managers: How to Help Your Staff Deal With a National Tragedy

Posted by Bill Fries on Apr 16, 2013 9:08:00 AM

As the tragic events in Boston unfolded late yesterday afternoon, word quickly spread among the team at the office.  First a text from a spouse, next a call from a client and before we knew it everyone was gathered around the TV in one of our Tampa staffing offices.   Anxiety of what was yet to come could be seen in everyone’s eyes.   Once home, wall-to-wall coverage including video replays and eyewitness accounts played into the night.   Feelings of shock, anger, disbelief, grief and fear will be felt by everyone returning to work today.

temporary staff workplace tragedy

If you’re the manager of a team, there are three things you could do today to help your employees and temporary staff cope with yesterday’s tragedy:

1.    Allow and encourage employees to talk about it together.   

Experts often say it’s best to express your emotions rather than keep them bottled up inside.  Give your team the latitude and space to openly talk about the situation, share information and console each other.

2.    Designate a specific place where employees can talk.  

Conference rooms, break rooms or even a large hallway are good spots.   Provide a TV and computer for information.   This gathering spot will give members of your team a place to go, away from their normal workspace, when they need to talk, gather information and be supported by coworkers.   It also allows those who need to step away from all of it, the ability to return to their work at their own choice.

3.    Work with your team to find a way to help.    

Experts say one of the best ways cope with tragedy is to help those in need.   For example, when a tornado strikes in a nearby town, people collect supply donations and get them to the victims.  When a coworker’s house burns down, employees often come together to donate food, clothes and shelter to the family.  

Work with your team to find a way to come together and help those who were affected by yesterday’s tragic events.  You’ll be amazed at the spirit in which your team will work with each other to positively help the situation.   Ideas may include collecting Teddy Bears for the children, a letter writing drive to share your sincere appreciation with first responders or a donation drive for the Red Cross.   

This morning, one of our employees suggested we all donate blood to our local blood bank.   This is one of many ways we can honor the victims and show our appreciation to the countless first responders and angels who helped yesterday in Boston.

Your team can join us in donating blood by visiting The American Red Cross blood donation website.







Tags: staffing tips, management, employee relations, supervisor tips

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