The psychological effects of war can have a severe impact on the workplace and employers should take the necessary steps to help in any way they can
StaffCircle, a leading employee experience platform, brings together performance management, engagement and culture in a unified solution.
This is what StaffCircle was keen to understand. Here’s what they found out
How to support employees with friends and family in Ukraine or Russia?
Be clear and concise throughout the organization when communicating support. Employers should make it clear that managers and HR directors are available to discuss issues. If employees have friends or family members who live in Ukraine, you should ask them to contact their managers to understand the policies and resources available to them.
Ensuring employees have access to private rooms to call friends and family in Ukraine is a simple step companies can take to help. Employers can reserve an unused office or meeting room for face-to-face phone calls.
Mark Seeman, CEO of StaffCircle, had this advice for employers: “Employers should consider the mental health impact of the Ukraine crisis. Even if employees are not directly affected, the wider implications can be worrying and unsettling, ultimately leading to anxiety in the workplace. My advice to HR leaders is twofold: first, make sure mental health resources are in place and that everyone knows they are accessible when needed; Second – and most important – foster a culture of support outside of “traditional” channels – a culture where employees feel they can speak to their manager when the need arises.”
What if your employees are called to active duty?
As the Ukraine crisis continues, it is possible that Ukrainian or Russian nationals will be recalled to their homeland to take up arms. Companies employing Ukrainian or Russian citizens must be familiar with the steps involved.
Under UK law, companies are not required to release employees when called upon to take military action by their home government. You can refer to their internal policies if they have a policy for reservists. If they refer to British military reservists, they can phrase them in a way that applies to conscripts from other countries. If you are unsure, it is always best to seek professional legal advice.
There is no legal obligation to keep an employee’s position open when they return to their home country. Employers faced with this scenario could place the employee on special leave before reviewing the situation at a later date. However, it is important to note that every situation is different and you should check official gov.uk guidelines.
How can you help your employees with anxiety and stress?
Mental health and well-being should be easily accessible. Organizations can use check-ins and other channels to iterate on mental health benefits or EAP resources available to employees.
Reducing an employee’s workload can help them reduce the stress associated with the war in Ukraine. Managers can review their KPI targets and, where possible, extend deadlines, adjust goals, and take other actions to minimize work pressure.
If an employee needs to meet to discuss issues they are facing due to the Ukraine crisis, managers should set up One2One check-ins as soon as possible to provide support. Focusing the meeting on wellbeing and ensuring the employee is aware of all the options available to them provides an informal yet structured approach to these discussions.
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