Trauma comes to the workplace in a lot of different ways. There is personal trauma – from home or workplace events. There is organizational trauma, such as a merger, lay-off or natural disaster that hits the workplace. There is macro-trauma, something that affects the larger population such as a natural disaster, a terrorist attack (such as 9/11) or a pandemic like Covid. No individual is immune to trauma. And you do not know how you will react, even if you have been through something similar. Each event will affect a person differently, and, in turn, will affect their work. How you as an organization respond is key.
We know everyone currently in the workforce has been through at least one trauma: Covid. But this likely wasn’t your first rodeo with trauma. It’s really only been recently that organizations are helping their staff through some of these events. The big event I really remember is 9/11. I worked for United Airlines at the time, in recruitment. The first week was quiet. We were all allowed to process in different ways. Someone brought in a TV so we could watch the news. And then, we were expected to be back to “normal.” Which was actually odd because we didn’t think we were going to be hiring anytime soon. It wasn’t long before the rumors of layoffs started. And then the announcements. For the time, the communication was actually pretty good. We were given resources for unemployment, resume writing, job searching. Remember, this was way before social media!
And I know you have your own stories. Some of you may even be in the position that supporting staff through these traumas is part of your job description. We know we all work better together, so when Emily brought up this idea for a chat, we thought “it’s time.” This is something we can share our experiences and ideas for helping staff through it.
I hope you will join Jon, Emily and I on 9/11 at 7 pm ET on Twitter for this important Twitter Chat!
- Q1. What’s in your glass?
- Q2. There are different kinds of trauma: personal, workplace and macro. Do you have plans for addressing these different kinds of trauma?
- Q3. Has there been an organizational traumatic event at your workplace? How did your company handle it?
- Q4. Does your organization recognize traumatic events? If so, how do you do so?
- Q5. How do you decide what to recognize, memorialize?
- Q6. How does your company assist employees in healing? Grief counselors, meditative moments, grounding?
- Q7. What do you believe your organization should do in dealing with trauma and grief?
- Q8. What resources have you/your company used that might be helpful to others?