When national tragedy strikes, how does it impact the workplace?

Like most people I`ve been riveted to the news tonight trying to make sense of a senseless act at the Boston marathon.  I know of three people from my region who were in attendance and gratefully all are safe.  The incident and the ensuing panic are eerily reminiscent of 9-11.  We all remember where we were when that happened as we sat helpless watching the news. Most people learn of such tragedies while still at work.

When you`re a world away it is easy to feel disconnected, but it is important for managers to understand that national tragedies do have an impact on their staff. Professionals may feel a level of anxiety in returning to their offices after witnessing the repeated images of something horrific happening. At a basic level, tragic events can cause all of us to question our priorities.  Suddenly, that pressing deadline can feel less important when you are considering your own mortality. 

So how does one ensure that productivity continues while at the same time providing a warm and safe environment for your employees? It is important to remember that in many cases employees spend just as much (if not more) time in their workplace environments than in their home.  Workplaces can be a place of safety and an important element in helping people to regain a healthy normal outlook on life. 

Susan Healthfield, provides 11 tips for employers on how to many the workplace when tragedy strikes that are excellent especially for those who are directly impacted.

For those of us who are only observing from a distance, allowing meaningful discussion is important. Creating a moment of silence or working together to make a donation as a group to help can be activities that assist your team during this time.

Take care.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by the events at the Boston Marathon.


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