How to support your employees during a crisis

Russia invaded Ukraine, and Ukrainian lives changed forever. Work had to stop, soldiers and civilians mobilized, people evacuated, and grandmas learned how to make Molotov cocktails with instructions from Google.

If you’re living safely in the United States or anywhere outside Ukraine, it shouldn’t affect your work. Your employees should get their acts together and get their work done. No bombs are falling on their houses. Right?

This kind of attitude is familiar – “If it doesn’t affect me, it shouldn’t affect you”. After all, you aren’t personally involved in the crisis. Whether it’s a war in Ukraine, a terrorist attack in West Africa, or even a terrible car accident on the freeway, people often assume that it’s no big deal unless you yourself were there.

They are wrong. And as managers and HR people, we need to be aware of the world and local events and understand that even people without obvious connections may be shattered by what goes on elsewhere. You need to support your employees during crisis. Here’s why, and what you need to do.

To keep reading, click here: How to support your employees during a crisis

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2 thoughts on “How to support your employees during a crisis

  1. I understand the differences between sympathy, empathy and compassion, but don’t agree that it’s always preferable to proceed to the “I’m going to help” stage. A lot of times when people talk about their own personal crises, they just need to vent, or to be heard, and aren’t seeking advice, much less active intervention into their problem by the listener. So, sympathy, or empathy, may be all they want, and it’s important for the listener to be mindful of that possibility. That’s especially true in the employer-employee relationship. Employees are entitled to keep their professional and personal lives separate, and employers need to be respectful of those boundaries. If an employee discloses a personal problem or crisis, the employer should ask if there’s some way they can help, leave the door open for future requests for help, and honor the employee’s decisions about employer involvement. And, of course, confidentiality should always be maintained.

  2. I’m not even connected to anybody in the Ukraine, but I’ve been incredibly upset and distracted with this going on because it’s so incredibly outrageous. I’ve mentioned it to one coworker and to my boss. I felt much better and highly validated because they each responded that yeah, this was very upsetting and distracting for them too, and they understood.

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