When the world is in turmoil, it often has a ripple effect on the workplace. Employees may feel anxious or stressed about events happening outside of work that impact their personal lives. HR teams should be prepared to support employees affected by international crises.
Think about how employees’ backgrounds differ
When providing support for employees during international crises, it’s essential to consider the diverse backgrounds of your workforce. Employees may have different levels of exposure to the situation, depending on their country of origin, cultural background, and personal experiences. Some employees may be more directly affected by the crisis than others. It’s essential to be sensitive to these differences.
Many employees will have families affected by a crisis. They may be worried about their safety and well-being. Employees may also have difficulty concentrating if they are concerned about their loved ones. HR teams can provide support by offering resources such as employee assistance programs and counseling services.
Look for signs of distress in employees
During a crisis, it’s vital to look for signs of distress in employees. These can include changes in behavior, increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity. If you notice any red flags, reach out to the employee and see how you can help.
When providing support for employees during crises, it’s important not to add any additional pressure. Employees may already be feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Avoid putting them in a position where they feel like they have to choose between work and personal lives. Instead, offer flexible solutions that allow them to manage both.
Offer flexible work arrangements
One way to support employees during international crises is by offering flexible work arrangements. Flexible work arrangements can help employees manage their workloads in a way that works for them. Possible solutions could include telecommuting, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks. Flexible work arrangements can also help employees care for loved ones.
Demonstrate compassion over everything else
HR teams need to demonstrate a commitment to compassion during international crises. Employees need to know that their well-being is a priority. Showing compassion can help build trust and foster a positive work environment.
Create safe discussion spaces
Another way to support employees during crises is by creating safe discussion spaces. These can be used for employees to talk about their experiences and feelings. Safe discussion spaces can help employees feel heard and supported. They can also help build a sense of community in the workplace. Make sure to create a safe, respectful, and confidential space. Employees should feel comfortable sharing their experiences without fear of judgment. Potential options include:
- Employer-sponsored counseling appointments.
- A dedicated channel on company message systems.
- Mental health-related informational materials.
HR teams play a vital role in supporting employees during international crises. When the world is in turmoil, HR teams need to be prepared. By offering flexible work arrangements, safe discussion spaces, and demonstrating compassion, HR teams can help employees manage their workloads and cope with the stress of the situation.