Trauma Events: Supporting Employees in the Workplace

The recent heartbreaking shooting of students at Michigan State University which resulted in three deaths, as well as other incidents like it, brought to light the prevalence of trauma throughout our nation. But even beyond highly publicized mass shooting events, trauma can arise from any number of things, including domestic violence, sexual assault, racism, bias, harassment, economic hardship, and fears about the future.

Trauma can have a devastating effect on employees, leading to absenteeism, poor performance on the job, employee conflicts, and even accidents. It is important for employers to be aware of how trauma can affect an individual’s performance at work. Traumatized workers are often compromised in their ability to learn, think, manage change, and relate to others. They may also suffer from mental and physical health problems which can further impact their ability to do their job effectively.

It is important for employers to recognize these issues and take steps to create a safe environment for their employees experiencing the effects of trauma. This could include referring employees to an employee assistance program or creating policies that protect against discrimination or harassment.