Ontario storm: How to support your employees through the crisis

Almost one million homes have lost power as Trudeau calls on rescue crews to help

Ontario storm: How to support your employees through the crisis

Parts of Ontario have been ravaged by storms that’ve left people dead and many more without power. This puts a great toll on employers and employees alike as they deal with not only business disruptions, but also emotional trauma after such a calamity.

In dealing with such crises, here are some ways HR can help:

  1. Reach out to affected employees

HR leaders should be one of the first people to check up on employees during the aftermath of storms. This way, you can find out the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees, and understand if they’re in need of assistance. Prepare yourself for some leave requests heading your way – and ensure you’re prioritizing mental health during this time.

  1. Be considerate on leave

Speaking of time off, HR should also be considerate on granting leave for staff amid times of crises. Employees could be affected by power outages, are unable to commute to work due to floods, or are grieving the loss of loved ones after the storm, so it’s important for employers to remain sensitive on their employees' current needs.

  1. Provide assistance to employees

It’s worth noting that employees will also be dealing with damages to property and probably medical bills in the aftermath of crises, so it is important for HR leaders to remind them of their available benefits or provide them with alternative options that would assist them during troubling times.

  1. Consider launching a donation drive

Employers in their own way could internally pool resources in order to help their heavily affected colleagues from the crises. This donation drive could also extend to beneficiaries who are outside the company, including those who are hard-hit by flooding or power outages.

  1. Keep employees updated

It’s highly important for employers to keep their staff in the loop over what's happening around them - especially during times of power outages when access to information is incredibly critical. Reach out in any way you can, by any modem, to keep your people in the lop and let them know you’re here to help.

These reminders are just some of the steps that you as an HR leader can take today. The calamity has left nearly 900,000 homes without power, according to a report from BBC. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself went on Twitter to report on the situation, where he made mention of serious damagers as well as casualties stemming from the storm.

"The storms that swept across Ontario and Quebec yesterday caused serious damage, claimed several lives, and left many without power," Trudeau said on the platform. "We're thinking of everyone affected, and thanking the crews who are working to restore power – we stand ready to provide federal support if needed."

Emergency centres

Ottawa has opened some emergency centres for people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by the storm. These centres will be open as of today from 10am to 10pm. According to Ottawa’s official website these include;

Recent articles & video

How to build cultural pillars for a successful hybrid workforce

Fun Friday: New podcast teaches you how to be a better manager

Canadian employee loses home due to payroll problems

Team building: Is investing in comradery the key to retention?

Most Read Articles

Employer ordered to pay $70K in martial discriminatory firing

Canada's most diverse companies for 2022 revealed

Arbitrator decides employer discriminated on basis of creed in denying request for vax exemption