Prioritizing employee well-being through support during challenging times

By Kiljon Shukullari

Law360 Canada (September 21, 2023, 1:56 PM EDT) --
Kiljon Shukullari
Kiljon Shukullari
Many have been feeling uneasy about the situation happening in Morocco with the devastating earthquake and the floods in Libya that have taken the lives of thousands.

It’s important for employers to be mindful of employees who may be affected by these events. Some could be from the impacted countries or have loved ones who may be in danger, making it a challenging and stressful time.

While global events may not have a direct impact on your business, it’s crucial to recognize that they could affect your employees or their extended families. Maintaining an open attitude toward discussing these events is essential, as it demonstrates empathy. This approach helps foster a secure and inclusive atmosphere for meaningful conversations, which can be particularly beneficial, especially for those who are directly affected.

When someone is facing a tough time, it’s only natural that it can affect their work, and that is something beyond their control. That’s why it’s important for employers to step in and offer support during these challenging times. Not only does this boost employee morale, but it also has a positive impact on the overall business performance and bottom line.

As an employer, it’s crucial to reach out to the entire team and make them aware of the available resources and support during challenging times. This can be done through company-wide communications sent via email, discussions in team meetings, or even one-on-one conversations. Additionally, employers can show their support by contributing to the cause through donations.

If you notice any one of the employees going through a tough time, consider making some adjustments to support them better. This could involve being flexible with their start and finish times or modifying their duties to alleviate some of their stress. This not only helps them feel more secure in their role but gives them the space to focus on what they are going through.

Provide an employee assistant program (EAP) to offer professional support for their mental health and emotional well-being.

It’s important to maintain regular check-ins with our team members to see how they’re holding up. Open and transparent communication is key, especially to those who need support, reminding them that their health and safety are top priorities, especially during these times of crisis.

Supporting employees through challenging times is not only a compassionate approach but also a strategic one. Employees who feel cared for and supported are more likely to remain engaged and productive, even during personal hardships. By fostering a culture of empathy, flexibility and open communication, organizations can strengthen their commitment to the well-being of their most valuable asset – their employees. Ultimately, a supportive workplace benefits everyone involved, creating a win-win scenario for employees and employers alike.

Kiljon Shukullari is human resources advisory manager at Peninsula Canada.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, Law360 Canada, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

Photo credit / kate3155

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