Crisis Management: Addressing The Grief of Individuals and The Team

Crisis Management: Addressing The Grief of Individuals and The Team

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About the company:

A shared services company with around 1,800 employees in the Philippines that provides operational support for its multinational principal company.  

The project:

Human Dynamic was consulted by a Philippine company to help one of their teams with 17 members process their shared grief over the loss of one of their team members due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this happened during a surge in the country’s COVID-19 cases and most people, including the company’s employees, are working from home. There is a need to debrief the team and provide care of the deceased employee’s family, all while following the pandemic safety guidelines.

Through working closely with the Philippine company, HD was able to gather relevant information about the situation and come up with the appropriate solutions. The approach had been two-pronged: address individual needs through HD’s Work Life Coaching and provide a team debrief session through HD’s Group Crisis Intervention, both of which were done virtually.

The immediate family of the deceased were reached out to by an HD consultant to provide confidential telephonic coaching support for grief processing. The immediate family of the deceased were provided with emotional and thought processing support and were taught coping skills to deal with their grief. Similarly, HD and the Philippine company worked together to prepare for a group process session on grieving and wellbeing for the deceased’s team. Through HD’s Group Crisis Intervention, the team members were provided a safe avenue to vent out unexpressed feelings and were guided with managing their grief through processing questions and discussions, as well as a brief learning session on self-care and coping. Part of the challenge for this is addressing distress reactions from team members that may come up during the group process while the session is being conducted virtually. HD prepared for this through establishing “safety nets”, such as preparing and communicating the structure and the ground rules for the group session participants, as well as setting a separate virtual room attended by an HD consultant for one-on-one sessions concurrently during the group session.

Through this combined approach, the team and the family of the deceased were given the necessary help they need to understand what they are going through and to learn of ways on how to rise above the crisis. At the end of the group session, participants felt heard, were able to process their grief and found support to help them move forward.