Jury deliberations in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continue today. Regardless of the verdict, many believe that this is yet another incident of police brutality and systemic racism, that resulted in the tragic death of an unarmed black man.
It’s important to be prepared to support your employees during this time. After the final verdict is issued, individuals in your organization may require unbiased emotional and mental health support. Here are some key ways to prepare your organization for the outcome:
- Draft an internal memo, in advance of the verdict, that displays empathy and provides details for internal and external resources such as mental health/trauma counseling.
- Develop an external communications strategy to implement if necessary. Use social media to state your company’s position (if any), sympathy for the Floyd family and support for your company’s values of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
- Utilize the leaders of Employee Resource Groups to send additional communications and to provide forums for conversation and support.
- If you have returned to an in-person work environment, designate safe place locations throughout the office where staff may have private discussions with each other or mental health counseling professionals.
- Allow staff to use paid time off during work hours for confidential and personal appointments.
- Collaborate with the Human Resources team to host employee support groups.
All staff must be aware that specific words and/or actions may provoke an emotional or angry response. Everyone is encouraged to use courteous and encouraging language and exhibit their natural supportive demeanor while engaging with each other. Staff must also be respectful of individuals that choose not to engage in discussions about the final verdict.
We are hopeful that the outcome of this controversial case will motivate staff to embrace one another for who we all are. Social equity is essential to the betterment of our organizations and the global community.