Pulling together as a team when tragedy strikes

In the wake of yesterday’s terrible tragedy in Boston, people across the nation are coping with this horrible news and fear of the unknown.

Today, let’s not forget that employees—especially those in Boston—will be rightfully distracted as they come to terms with the reality of what’s happened to their city and their nation. As they grapple with so many thoughts and emotions, work is likely the last thing on their mind. In some cases they may need to speak to HR, hear the words from management and know that their concerns are validated.

After 9-11 we spent a great deal of time at JPMorgan on internal communications and emotional support. We had specialists on site. During the SARS scare we had seasoned healthcare experts brought in to talk to employees and help them with their concerns and fears. We had to pull all of management together, so they knew how to respond and support staff that might be worrying about coming to the office or being able to focus on work.

Never under-estimate the importance of internal communications; your PR, HR and CEO coming together can make a big difference for staff when tragedy strikes. In these cases, showing strength and providing guidance and understanding are key signs of great leadership.

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