Emotional and Mental
When A Catastrophic Critical Incident Impacts the Workplace
Tips for your Organization
It is absolutely crucial to be prepared and have a plan should a catastrophic critical incident occur that affects your workplace. Who will be in charge? What will you do if the CEO is severely injured or killed? Who will make critical decisions regarding processes? Who would be the logical staff/board member to work with the media? To make decisions about personnel? About fiscal and structural needs? Will identified staff members take over their manager’s duties? Does an interim leader come in? Valuable time, energy, money and even lives can be saved by being prepared.
Providing critical incident support for your organization following an event is crucial. Your Best Care Employee Assistance Program can work with you to determine the most appropriate response.
The media is as quick to arrive on the scene as the police are. It is prudent to designate a spokesperson and prepare them with information. Know ahead of time what information you are allowed to share publicly. Be aware of media traps or trick questions. Use the media to your advantage by announcing your plans for ongoing business following the incident.
Grieving is so individualized that it is not feasible to formulate a “group recovery” standard. How do you deal with time off? Short-term disability? Catastrophic stress levels? Issues that surface are loss of confidence, self-blame, guilt, anger and questioning the continuation of the business and employment.
Specific issues to consider are use of security guards, personal protection devices, metal detectors, and/or self-defense training. Reacting too quickly or overreacting in this area, though, could create measures that are costly and ineffective.
If you are reopening the building for business, who do you contact to clean up the aftermath of the incident? How do you treat the space where the incident occurred? What about employees, customers, or clients who do not want to return to your place of business?
Putting together a plan of action can make the difference between ineffective responding to a catastrophic critical incident and responding as a well prepared, caring employer.