Thousands of people have been killed or harmed in the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. In addition, millions of people, especially people in those countries, began to experience negative emotions such as sadness, fear, anxiety, stress and uncertainty.
First of all, we would like to express our deep sorrow and hope that the wounds will be healed as soon as possible. This tragic incident in Turkey and Syria can occur anywhere in the world at any time. Sometimes an earthquake or a hurricane, sometimes a terrorist attack….. Unfortunately, earthlings often experience these disasters when they least expect them.
Experts warn that extreme weather events, accelerated by the impact of the climate crisis, will be experienced much more in the future.
Do you think it makes sense to talk about working or employee engagement in a disaster like this? We hear you say no. And you are right. But the continuity of life is also very important to heal the wounds of disasters.
It is possible to continue without disregarding the human, human feelings and concerns. Experts agree on a few points: “Be compassionate, get out of the focus of work, stay in the focus of emotion, and remember that people may have been harmed even if they are not exposed to disaster.”
Morneau Shepell’s study titled Supporting employees during and after a natural disaster includes the following information:
How managers can support employees
Disasters are strongly related to a loss of control and influence over what is happening. Therefore, a primary consideration for managers is to provide a supportive environment in which control, confidence and competence can be regained. It is helpful to:
- Acknowledge employees’ concerns in a respectful and non-intrusive manner.
- Feel free to acknowledge some of your own concerns and reactions to the crisis.
- Recognise and acknowledge, in a non-judgmental way, that employees may have different emotions, attitudes and opinions related to this situation.
- Remind employees that they each have a very unique and resourceful way of coping with stressful events and to continue to draw on their natural resilience.
- Urge employees to reach out to people they feel close to.
- Inform staff experiencing anxiety that these feelings may vary from day to day and may be different than the feelings and thoughts of those around them.
- Prompt employees to focus their attention on matters over which they have influence.
- Demonstrate that you are as concerned about your employees as you are about work objectives.
- Address critical changes in performance in a timely, clear manner while conveying understanding of anxiety and stress for employees.
- Provide information regarding your EAP and other resources to support employee concerns.