Top tips to prepare for the unexpected at work

    • Although they don’t happen every day, traumatic incidents do occur in the workplace. They can:

      • be experienced by a single individual such as a personal injury or attack;
      • impact a group of people such as the sudden death of a manager; or
      • impact the whole workforce such as a fire or explosion.

      While many organisations have business continuity policies and processes in place to ensure that business operations can continue, they may not be prepared to manage the impacts of a traumatic incident on their people. This can result in confusion and a delay in getting the support their people need, and managers are often the first source of support that employees will look to for help.

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      Here are our top tips to help organisations of all sizes prepare for the unexpected at work:

      1. Develop and share your response plans

        Develop plans and protocols for a range of situations so that you’re better placed to respond and recover quickly and productively. Communicate and practice these plans so that when something bad happens your managers know what to do.

      2. Train managers in crisis handling and psychological first aid

        They’re on the front line so it’s important they’re properly prepared – this helps make positive reactions instinctive. Managers are also well placed to identify those employees who are struggling to cope and signpost them to support.

      3. Promote resilience amongst employees

        This examines how we cope, what resources and tools are available and allows employees to think about how they deal with stress. Getting people talking can galvanise them into a positive, supportive culture and social support has been shown to be a major contributor to resilience.

      For more information on preparing for and supporting your workforce during a crisis, take a look at our webinar on ‘Managing the unexpected’.

      If you need support, call our Crisis Consultants on 0800 072 0057 – 24 hours a day.

      January 2015

    • Eugene Farrell

      Viewpoint from Eugene Farrell, EAP expert and Head of Trauma support at AXA PPP healthcare

      Eugene is qualified in health economics and psychology and he has more than twenty five years of experience in the UK healthcare arena. He has worked in a variety of roles in both the public and private sectors and, for the past seventeen years, has specialised in the development and provision of employee support services.

      As well as delivering training on stress, resilience, mental health and managing critical incidents, he has worked with mental health providers, charities and government, advising on the management of mental health in the workplace and the management and delivery of organisational crisis support.

      He has authored articles and research on mental health, stress, absence, sickness presence, financial wellbeing, health wellbeing and EAP effectiveness, and has presented at professional conferences and on the BBC. He is an Executive Board member and former Chair of the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association, former Board member and International Director of the U.S. based Global Employee Assistance Professionals Association, and former Executive Director of Employee Assistance European Federation.

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