Boston Marathon Attack: How Managers Can Help Employees Handle Crisis

How Managers Can Help Employees Handle Crisis

Businesswoman crying at her desk
(Image: Thinkstock)
Businesswoman crying at her desk
(Image: Thinkstock)

When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity. John F. Kennedy.


On Monday, the world— especially those in the U.S —were shocked to discover that terror was ensuing in Boston. The unthinkable happened, as explosions caused havoc, deaths and injuries at the Boston Marathon. An event that thousands had been attending. Without realizing it your senses were heightened and you thought about getting home as soon as possible. You wanted to be preemptive in case anything else were to happen that would separate you from your family.


In times of crisis it is important to stay informed and prepared. You employees are logically not going to abandon their jobs, so it is a necessity to keep them at ease. Although the Boston Marathon bombing was an eye opener, for everyone, there are also personal crises that are just as important to manage. Here is how writer Suzanne Lucas suggests handling it.

Don’t assume you know what others are feeling. We often like to think we can be empathetic–and we can, to an extent. But, if your normally hard working, trustworthy employee says she just can’t concentrate because of some tragic event that didn’t affect you at all, assume she’s telling the truth.

Be compassionate. Yes, you’re in the business of being in business. You need your employees to be working. But, in order to get the best work done, occasionally you have to let something else take priority. And sometimes that means sending someone home early. Giving an extra vacation day. Going to the funeral of someone you’ve never met, just because it is important to show support to your employee.