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Supporting your employees in conflict zones

Here's how to help your employees, if war breaks out where they are.

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As the world of work becomes increasingly global and many employers have workers stationed internationally, it’s important to be prepared to support your staff in the event of an outbreak of conflict in the location where they’re based.

Let’s examine some of the key steps you can take to assist your employees in conflict zones.

Emphasise that safety comes first

Ensure that you communicate clearly to staff that their safety is your number one priority, and that they should not feel pressurised to put themselves at any risk in order to work. If their circumstances dictate that to continue performing their regular duties will compromise their safety, make certain that they do not feel any obligation to endanger themselves.

You should also make sure to keep in contact with your employees in conflict zones. Let them know that you are aware of the situation, and that the organisation will do everything it can to assist and support.

Make every effort financially

When conflict breaks out in a region where you employ staff, the organisation’s HR department should make every effort to ensure that employee payments are not interrupted and that your staff have access to their funds. You may also wish to advance paycheques to employees in warzones in order to support.

Workers should not have to worry about needing time off to deal with their situation. Ample paid time off should be allocated given their extenuating circumstances, as the impacts of war on every facet of daily life are extreme and will require much, if not all, of their attention.

Assist with relocation

If your employee or employees need to leave their current living situation due to conflict in the region, you may wish to support them in doing so. Visa sponsorship, immigration support, and the provision of temporary accommodation are all ways in which you can support workers in warzones.  Support with local healthcare and banking options in their new location is also helpful.

For example, 20% of Fortune 500 companies have staff in Ukraine and many of these are supporting their employees to leave Ukraine – providing them with flights, money, and accommodation once they reach safety.

Provide mental health support

War is traumatising and the mental health of anyone living in a warzone will be affected. Providing mental health support options such as virtual counselling or recommending other mental health options to your employees in conflict zones is a good way of providing immediate, impactful support and demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to assisting your workers through this difficult and uncertain time.

If you are concerned about supporting your staff in conflict zones, contact our team of experts  for further advice.