The humanity of crisis: a different look at organizational resilience

The human side of organizational resilience

Change, whether global or organizational, can have a profound effect on safety.

Human factors determine how an organization will persevere through an unexpected crisis – for example, a global pandemic.

“Sometimes, when dealing with safety planning, we check all the boxes with building design and regulatory compliance, but we forget about adjusting the human connection and compassion with our workforce, our most important asset,” says Lori Adams, RN, COHN-S, Liberty Mutual Technical Director of Occupational Health. “Work is the normal state for most of us. Getting back to work may provide for a route that helps individuals resume a degree of normalcy and reduce concerns of financial security. Likewise, the workplace should provide a structure that allows for open communications and direction, clarity on work practices and guidelines, while showing a human connection and compassion.” 

Here are nine steps you can take today to help ensure that your people stay healthy and engaged.

  1. Schedule regular (weekly or even daily) team meetings, especially if your employees are remote. Leave time for the employees to casually chat and share their feelings – much like they would in a breakroom. Acknowledge feelings of fear and lack of trust.
  2. Recognize personal commitments: review your sick leave policy, reinforce the importance of work/life balance.
  3. Review your communication channels and frequency of communications.
  4. Worker concentration may decrease. Address job task design to allow for more frequent breaks. Adjust and extend deadlines.
  5. Inform your employees of any workplace support resources available to them and encourage their use.
  6. If you are bringing people back to work in-person, re-assess your schedules by staggering shifts.
  7. If your workplace chooses to perform symptom screening, make sure that you are following the CDC guidelines for protecting the screener.
  8. Recognize personal concerns and create a safe, direct, confidential line to management and/or Human Resources.
  9. Reacclimate employees as production and work activities ramp up. Don’t jump into “business as usual.”

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Our risk control services are advisory only. We assume no responsibility for: managing or controlling customer safety activities, implementing any recommended corrective measures, or identifying all potential hazards. No attempt has been made to interpret any referenced codes, standards, or regulations. Please refer to the appropriate government authority for interpretation or clarification.