Many variables make up good wellbeing
Maintaining wellbeing is challenging at the best of times and can be severely tested by the psychological impact of stressful events such as moving house, the break-up of a relationship, being victim of a crime or the death of a loved one.
Employers are becoming better attuned to the importance of employee wellbeing, with many introducing policies and procedures to enhance employee engagement and morale. Providing the likes of flexible working, access to personal counselling and health benefits can go a long way to helping employers to demonstrate their appreciation for their employees’ hard work and commitment.
While HR departments are on the whole prepared for the commoner life events that affect us all, they may be unprepared to deal with the impact that traumatic events can have on their workforce when they occur on a much larger scale.
Incidents such as the terror attacks in Paris last October or the Shoreham air crash remind us that terrible events can and do come from out of the blue – and leave lasting effects on those who experience or witness them. While making plans to support employees affected by disasters such as these may be an unwelcome task, it is nevertheless important for HR professionals to be prepared for the unexpected and be especially mindful that employees can be caught up in traumatic events at any time and any place.
Incidents such as the 2005 London bombings are a salutary reminder that, when a traumatic event occurs – be it a fatal accident involving a single employee through to a large scale occurrence affecting many individuals – HR may be called upon to support those directly affected by the event and their families as well as to help to manage the flow of information about the incident to the wider company. Situations such as these should also be a spur to HR teams to review their policies and procedures to ensure that, should the worst happen in their organisation, they are ready to respond with appropriate support as soon as it’s needed.