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How to Help an Employee through a Traumatic Time

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Whether employee or employer, most people try to keep their professional and personal lives as separate as possible. Unfortunately, try as they might, there are going to be times when the private lives of your employees start to bleed into the working environment, affecting not only their ability to work efficiently, but also their overall wellbeing. This can have a knock-on effect on the wellbeing of other workers, the productivity levels within the workplace, and also have a lasting impact on the individual employee if they aren’t given the appropriate support. If you’re unsure what you can do to help an employee through a traumatic time, then here are a few tips which you might find useful.

Building rapport

If your employees don’t see you as an approachable, trustworthy employer, then they aren’t going to feel comfortable sharing any personal information with you. While it is important to have boundaries in the workplace, your employees also need to know that they can trust you with sensitive and personal information when it is appropriate; you need to know when your employees are going through a difficult time, both because it may affect their performance at work, but also because you hold some responsibility for their personal wellbeing.

Providing space

Even if you suspect that one of your employees is going through a traumatic time and you want to find a way to help, it is important not to bombard them with too many questions or to impose on their personal lives. Instead, try to provide an open space where your employees feel comfortable approaching you to discuss personal matters and other topics of importance. Remember to listen attentively, and to focus on taking information onboard before speaking or offering your input, as that will help you stay on the same page as your employees. It is also vital to find the boundary between knowing as much as you need to know on a professional basis and not prying into private matters on a personal level.

Understanding what you can offer

If you want to find ways to help and support your employees, you need to know what exactly it is that you can offer them. You might not be able to provide them with all of the emotional support that they need, but you can absolutely give them access to the appropriate resources to help through their circumstances. For example, if your employee was going through a distressing time disputing a will or inheritance rights, then you might refer them to resources relating to inheritance experts, such as the-inheritance-experts.co.uk.

Regular check-ins

Traumatic events have a lasting impact on the wellbeing of a person, which is why it is vital to continually check in with your employees over an extended amount of time. You won’t know how your employees are coping, or if there is anything you can do to support them, unless you ask: whether you speak in face to face meeting or via email. Additionally, you could also issue an open invitation for them to reach out to you when needed, in order to take some pressure off of you to be the one to reach out.

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Want to Achieve Excellence in Human Resource Management (HRM)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Human Resource Management (HRM). Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people. Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.

This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one? Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization's Strategy. In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage.

This has never been more true than right now in the Digital Age, as organizations must compete for specialized talent to drive forward their Digital Transformation Strategies. Beyond just hiring and selection, HR also plays the critical role in retaining talent—by keeping people engaged, motivated, and happy.

Learn about our Human Resource Management (HRM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

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About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.


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