News of a violent or crisis events in the world may increase stress and make people feel unsafe. As a manager, you may wonder how to provide support to your staff. It is important to acknowledge your team’s emotional reactions to the situation. These may vary from person to person, and could include:
- Shock or numbness
- Withdrawal from others
- Sadness and crying
- Difficulty concentrating
- Agitation or irritability
- Talking more with others
Remember that most emotional responses are normal and that it is likely they will change over time. Individuals may cycle through a variety of emotions in the hours, days, and weeks that follow an incident. Some people may be “back to normal” in a few hours; for others, it may take days or even longer, especially if they have been personally impacted by the event.
While there is no way to make it “all better,” being sensitive to your team’s feelings and showing that you care will help them move through shock, loss, pain, and fear. These steps may be helpful:
- Reach out. Ask people how they are doing and “manage by walking around” or, if working remotely, by checking in via email, chat, or call. Listen and validate feelings. People will wonder, “Does the company care?” Your availability and concern will provide the answer.
- Remind staff about helpful organizational resources, such as your EAP.
- Take time for yourself. Remember to set aside personal time to cope with your own feelings about these events. Practicing good self-care will set a positive example for your team.