February 7, 2023

241: Support Your Team Members During a Tragedy with Holly Welch Stubbing

When a crisis hits someone’s life, the effects aren’t limited to home. Personal, communal, or even global crises can have a significant impact on someone’s stress levels. In situations where a crisis or tragedy has occurred, there’s likely little you can do to ‘fix’ the situation; however, there are steps every manager can take to help support their team members during these difficult and uncertain times.

Today’s guest is Holly Welch Stubbing. Holly currently serves as President and CEO of E4E Relief. She has over 25 years of experience in HR, endowment investments and disaster relief. Her organization E4E Relief is an employee relief fund that works with global companies like Salesforce and Wells Fargo to relieve employees when it’s needed most. Holly also serves on the Forbes Human Resources Council and shares her philanthropic vision with fellow executives. She is a thought leader in ESG, philanthropy, and corporate social responsibility and speaks on ESG investment portfolios and strategies, CSR strategies, philanthropy, social enterprise and tax-exempt legal matters.

Holly and I talk about how we as managers can best support our colleagues when a tragedy occurs – this could be a natural disaster, a death in the family, political upheaval in their city. She shares what employees care about, what we can do, and why it’s important to support people through these difficult moments.

Members of the Modern Manager community get a Free Disaster Worksheet, “Things to Consider When Responding to a Crisis.” This worksheet will lay out the stakeholders (employees, communities, etc.) to consider, partners to establish, and funding to set aside for navigating an unforeseen event impacting your people or your business. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.

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Read the related blog article: How to Support Your Team in Times of Crisis


Website: https://employeerelieffund.org/

Key Takeaways:

  • Since the pandemic, managers are taking on more responsibility to support their teams during times of crisis.
  • Personal, local, national, and global crises can have a significant impact on people. This includes a death in the family, political unrest, natural disasters (flooding, fires, hurricanes, etc), violence in a community, and more.
  • Update or create a comprehensive benefits plan that includes crisis support, mental health, and hybrid/flexibility needs.
  • Make sure employees in all locations receive benefits they need to navigate a crisis. One size doesn’t fit all.
  • Keep tabs on local crises affecting teammates, possibly as an HR role. Schedule weekly team meetings to learn about teammates’ issues.
  • Brainstorm with teammates how you can lean in and support each other during difficult times.
  • Words and tokens of support help vulnerable teammates feel less alone and wanting to stay in the company.
  • Go to HR to see what relief grants and other resources are available. When a colleague is overwhelmed dealing with a crisis, help out by filling out paperwork or doing research to ensure they get the needed assistance.

Additional Resources:


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