Supporting Your Employees Affected by the Morocco Earthquake

12 Sep ‘23
5 min
Stress and anxiety
Editorial Board OpenUp
Gecontroleerd door Psychologist Lili Thoelen
Support-Morocco-Earthquake
The recent earthquake in Morocco may have affected several of your team members. As a leader or employer, it’s essential to understand the earthquake’s impact on employee mental well-being, especially for those with connections to Morocco. Cultivating understanding, offering ongoing support, and ensuring a safe and compassionate environment go a long way.

 

Below, we will look at additional ways to support your employees emotionally and psychologically following this natural disaster.

OpenUp is offering free psychological sessions for employees affected by the Morocco earthquake, with psychologists available in both Arabic and French.

 

Please click here to select a session: Book Session

1. Offer time and support to open up 

 

Providing support to your employees during times of crisis is essential. You can do so by proactively addressing the situation, for example, if you have a 1:1 meeting with an employee who has been affected, take some time at the beginning to check-in on how they are doing at a personal level. Listen, show empathy, ask open-ended questions,  and let them know you are there for them. You can also create some time in team meetings to open up the conversation, so everyone feels comfortable to talk about the situation and support one another. 

 

2. Practise active listening 

 

Instead of jumping to conclusions about how someone feels, be empathetic, ask questions and listen to their unique perspective. Remember, everyone reacts to challenges differently, and there is no ‘’one size fits all’’ solution. Simply being there to actively listen can be extremely effective and help to alleviate some of their stress and worries.

 

3. Encourage flexibility and breaks 

 

Being in a flexible work environment is more important than ever through times of crisis. Encourage your employees to take breaks if they need them, and offer flexible work schedules and deadlines for those affected. If you have set some ambitious performance goals or targets for the quarter, arrange a meeting with your affected employees to discuss more reasonable expectations. And, if an employee is struggling to meet targets, approach the situation with the kindness and support you would like to receive if you were in their shoes.

 

4. Offer long-term support

 

An earthquake has long-lasting consequences, so continuing to support your employees in the long-run is crucial.. Just because the earthquake may no longer be in the news doesn’t mean that those affected have ‘’moved on’’ with their lives. Continue to check-in frequently, and if you notice that employees affected by the crisis are continuing to struggle with their mental well-being, provide them with resources that can help, and point them to professional psychological guidance.  

Remember, opening up during difficult times is extremely important for mental well-being. Remind your employees that they can benefit from free psychological sessions, and explore additional resources to help with employee mental-well being in the aftermath of the earthquake. 

Stay informed and donate 

 

As a manager or employer, you can organise a fundraiser to encourage raising funds to help those affected by the earthquake. Additionally, you can share the below initiatives to donate to:

  

British Red Cross:  This nonprofit is helping with the severe and immediate needs of those affected by the earthquake, as well as planning the longer-term support that will be needed in the months to come.  They also provide mental well-being support for those who’ve lost loved ones and are living in fear of more earthquakes and aftershocks. 

 

High Atlas Foundation: This Moroccan association and nonprofit organisation has an extensive network among the most affected communities in the High Atlas region affected by the earthquake.