The Monster Lurking In The Shadow of Your Reopening

It’s a chaotic time for Human Resources professionals. You have people working remotely and on-premise. You’re managing a level of fear and anxiety that we have never seen before in our families and in our workforce. There are very few ‘controllable’ factors in play here as we work to follow state and federal mandates about testing, procedures and the reopening of our businesses. That’s enough drama to give even the most seasoned HR person fits of insomnia and worry. But there’s something else that is lurking in the background of your recovery and reopening. This ‘monster’ may not be visible right now, but left unaddressed, it has the potential to have an explosive impact on your organization in the next 90 days and beyond. To make matters worse, this monster is someone you know.

As HR professionals are well aware, our employees are complex creatures of habit that bring their ‘emotional backpack of fun’ with them to work every day. Prior to the global pandemic, we faced employee issues around mental health, financial stresses, work friendships (or romantic relationships) gone wrong, political differences and performance issue disagreements. As you reopen your businesses and welcome employees back into your workplace, you need to understand that these employee backpacks are heavier and filled with more complex issues. Things like increased financial concerns (from reduced pay, furloughs, layoffs), children being home and needing homeschooling, increased anxiety about becoming ill or managing older loved ones, the burden of being quarantined to our homes and the constant news cycle of doom have had a direct impact on the psyche of your employees. Combine that with a 30% increase in domestic violence cases, a 35% increase in suicide attempts and the extreme pressure of our political divide and you have a perfect storm that can create an unstable and untethered individual.

This creates the need for HR professionals and company leadership to be acutely aware and in tune with the signs of behavioral triggers that require immediate intervention. In this short video, John Nettis, co-founder of PASS – Protective Advanced Safety Services – discusses some of these challenges and previews an upcoming webinar that the PASS team is presenting for EANE.

As you’re building your return to work plans, be sure to factor in the following practices to help maintain the safety of your workplace:

  • Review and update your workplace violence policy
  • Be sure that managers and supervisors are trained to notice the behavioral cues that could lead to workplace violence
  • Prepare communications for your employees about the resources you have for them if they need support such as an EAP

We hope you’ll join us for The New Psychology of your Workplace webinar on Thursday, May 28 at 10 am to learn more about this critical issue for employers. Attendees will receive the following toolkit as part of their webinar package:

  • Sample workplace violence policy
  • Sample incident report form
  • Workplace safety checklist
  • A FREE 30-minute consultation with a member of the PASS team