As an EAP, we respond when disaster strikes – the death of an employee due to a traffic accident, suicide of an employee, serious injury from an industrial accident, an employee receiving a life threatening diagnosis are just a few examples of the situations that we have been called upon to help employers. We know having a response plan in place for when the unthinkable happens helps people heal more quickly. One of our clients recently said, “It meant a lot to our employees that you were here to listen if anyone wanted to talk.”
Our goal is to help people be resilient.
Research shows the employer can be a major source of resilience when it actively responds post incident. Resilience can be defined as the ability to cope with change and adversity. In a study of 750 Vietnam vets held as POW’s for 6 to 8 years, the veterans who did not develop PTSD identified 10 critical characteristics of resilience that were key to their survival.
The number one characteristic was optimism.
Most employees have some degree of optimism, however accessing this trait can be challenging due to the impact of the incident; but it is there. As a leader in your organization, I encourage you to think about how you can help your employees bounce back from the worst. Encourage optimism by finding the good in a bad situation. Cope with stress by gathering and sharing as much information as possible. Support each other and find ways to appropriately honor the individual(s) directly impacted. Call us when tragedy strikes. We answer the phone 24/7. Call us before the worst happens to help you create a plan to foster resiliency in your workplace.