Many organisations set up training and support for employees affected by critical incidents at work without fully considering exactly what they are trying to achieve.
Often it’s led by individuals at grass roots level campaigning for employee welfare and driven by a genuine desire to help colleagues. However, we hear time and again how these calls are not taken seriously by higher levels in the organisation. There is a sound business case for managing psychological trauma properly and unfortunately for some organisations that is the only one that will be considered.
If we want to help those in need then we have to recognise this and set out that business case.
There may be things that the organisation is seeking to improve / address / change and managing psychological trauma properly will make a significant and measurable contribution to them.
Each organisation will have different priorities and a useful exercise is to rate the following items in terms of their importance to your organisation.
- Reduce levels of sickness absence
- Reduce employee turnover
- Ease human distress
- Increase productivity
- Increase employee morale
- Improving employee health and wellbeing
- Protect against litigation
- Being seen to be a socially ethical employer
Framing the trauma strategy in some of these terms may feel calculated or hardhearted but it’s sometimes the only way to release the required resources and motivation!
Even for an organisation that is motivated from the top down to improve employee welfare, a useful exercise can be for all those involved in implementing the programme to highlight their top 3. From this, some consensus on priorities should begin to emerge. Without a complete buy-in, any trauma support can be sabotaged and fail to reach those who really need it.