Recovery in the Aftermath of Workplace Violence: Guidance for Supervisors   [open pdf - 77KB]

"Supervisors face particular challenges following any violent incident in the work setting. Even after the work area is secured, and victims or perpetrators are no longer present, emotional reactions and distress behaviors may compromise performance. Leaders may take steps to reduce untoward consequences for employees and for the workplace. The first requirement for the office staff recovery is assuring safety. Leaders should be aware that victims, intended victims, colleagues and bystanders may experience significant emotional distress whether or not physically injured-but those closest to the event, or with close relationships to the victim(s) or perpetrator(s) will likely be most affected. For most employees, the cornerstone of emotional recovery is talk and leaders can best assess their employees by talking with them. Leaders should demonstrate their willingness to discuss the event and their own emotions. As some people will not want to participate in group discussions it is essential that supervisors speak with these individuals one to one to gauge their feelings and mental state. An 'open door policy' and management presence or informal 'checking in' may be helpful. The second most important leader action in recovery is promoting a sense of normalcy and a return to normal work schedules and routines. A sense of normalcy is achieved gradually. The more traumatic and dramatic the event, the more likely that people will be emotionally affected and these memories will only gradually fade. Most people move on to integrate a tragedy or otherwise significant event into their consciousness without continuing mental distress or disability. The actions below will help managers foster a sense of safety and of return to normalcy."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: http://www.centerforthestudyoftraumaticstress.org
Media Type:
Help with citations