Wednesday Wisdom Series – 1  1 2 
Here is your bi-monthly Wednesday Wisdom series from the Family Assistance
Foundation, reminding you that a fully-integrated approach for assisting surivivors of
traumatic loss involves a balance of head and heart.


"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." 
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Leader 1868-1948 

When tragedy strikes in the workplace and the cause may be associated with
human error, anger and a desire to blame is a natural response for anyone who is
emotionally hurt. 

In the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, when survivors are helpless and dependent
on the organization for assistance, a swift and proactive response results in most
survivors praising the company for all its employees did to help them. One woman,
whose son died in an air disaster in which over 200 people perished, told her attorney
that she did not want her legal filing to ask for punitive damages for fear that this
somehow might harm the company financially—thereby hurting the employees who
had helped her in the few weeks after the tragedy occurred.


When the time to respond is at hand, the time for planning is over.”  
Jeff Morgan, President, CEO, Aviem International

Increasing feelings of connection toward company employees is directly dependent
on the timing of when the help is offered.  Assistance offered after survivors have
begun to stabilize with support from outside the responding company’s plan –
resources such as other family members, support organizations, and sometimes
even plaintiff attorneys – will most often result in unnecessary disconnection and
alienation between the organization and survivors. 

Advance planning, training, and exercising a company’s plan are essential to
maximizing the opportunity for the best and most rapid response possible. Gandhi’s
quote about retribution underscores the importance of pre-crisis preparation, which
is critical to helping ensure emotional connections between employees and survivors
during the crucial hours following the tragedy.


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Aviem & Family Assistance Foundation
555 North Pont Center East, Suite 400
Alpharetta, GA 30022

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