in the work place presents a particular set of problems.
In South Africa most workplace trauma involve criminal
violence, particularly in the retail industry and the
security industry, and obviously in emergency medical
services and police services. The high level of violence
and the high incidence violence has a rippling effect
of creating a pervading sense of danger and insecurity
in the workplace. Even if only one person was directly
threatened in, for instance, a robbery, the work colleagues
are also invariably affected and will also feel unsafe.
The natural response to danger is to avoid. If the work
place is perceived as dangerous this avoidance response
is problematic. People find it difficult to return to
work after a traumatic incident, and one can usually
notice an increase in absenteeism and staff turnover.
Fearfulness also affects work performance because it
affects concentration and attention.
Fear is not the only effect of trauma, however. Following
trauma at work staff often react with anger as well,
a feeling that employers do not take care to ensure
employee safety. This is very common, particularly when
there is already an unsatisfactory relationship with
management in the organisation, or when management has
not dealt sensitively with traumatised staff.
The longer term effect of fear and anger following trauma
exposure can have serious cost implications for an organisation
and it depends largely on how the fall-out of trauma
has assisted a large number of organisations and their
employees with early trauma support (see more –
link to Early Intervention) over a period of more than
20 years. We have also provided extensive training in
the management of trauma in the work place. For a list
of our most prominent clients, go here
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