HR Blog: Supporting employees through uncertain times

Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing humanitarian crisis have sent shockwaves worldwide.

Employees with links to Eastern Europe will need support, whilst those who are not directly affected may also be feeling anxious or helpless during these uncertain times. Many people will want to know what they can do to help Ukraine.

Understanding how the conflict may be affecting your employees is key to knowing how to respond.

To help employers, we have highlighted some pointers below for people management during the crisis, along with resources on how you can get involved to show your support for Ukraine.

Increase communication with employees

If you have team members working remotely or on a hybrid model, you may be seeing them less frequently and could be missing opportunities to check-in.

An internal communication that acknowledges the conflict in Europe and reminds them that your door is always open should anyone need to talk is a good idea.

Increased communication during this time will help you to identify early on if an employee needs your support.

Signpost mental health resources

The media coverage of what’s happening in Ukraine will induce feelings of anxiety for some.

Your team could be feeling low, especially after two years of the pandemic, and some may be at risk of developing poor mental health.

Anyone may express their concern, whilst employees with family members in Ukraine or Russia may be directly affected and need extra support.

Those with past traumas, such as war veterans, could be struggling to focus and could also need help with their mental well-being.

All employees can benefit from an Employee Assistance Programme providing mental health services. It can be helpful to circulate the details if you have one to remind employees of the help that is available to them.

Alternatively, the following charities provide useful resources for anyone struggling with their mental health: Mind,  Samaritans, and The Mental Health Foundation.

Make a difference with your team

Communities have pulled together and formed donation drives, sharing lists of essential items needed for Ukrainian refugees.

If you and your team are keen to help, start by seeking out your nearest drop off point to make donations or make enquiries about how you could volunteer as a team to sort and pack supplies.

If you decide to hold a fundraising event for Ukraine, check that your financial donations are made safely and responsibly by using the charity register tool.

Find other ways to get involved via the government website – What you can do to help Ukraine.

Taking proactive steps to make a difference can bring your team together and help them to stay positive during such troubling times.