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What Employers Can Do in the Face of Anti-Racism Protests

The converging global health and human rights crises are naturally taking a toll on the mental health of all employees, but in particular for Black employees. Employers have a key role in supporting employees who are suffering. Management should consider the following proactive steps to provide comfort and support in these increasingly challenging and fraught times:

  • Check in with employees and acknowledge the news events of the past few weeks in a compassionate and sensitive manner. Ask how and where more or different support is needed. Actively listen and act on what is shared.
  • Encourage self-care, whatever that may mean depending on individual preference, from exercise opportunities, to time for worship or meditation, to a day off for mental health.
  • Make clear there will be no penalties for those who may need to take a mental health day or temporarily take on a lighter workload.
  • Engage resources who are trained to discuss and address racial trauma. Make sure your internal employee resource groups are well supported by management and there are clean and continuous lines of communication with them.
  • Be open to and flexible about suggestions from everyone in the community as to what type of support would be welcome, and anticipate that needs will vary depending on the individual and future news developments.