Four Ways We Can Be Sensitive to Trauma at Work

management Oct 13, 2021

By Shanna B. Tiayon, PhD

Before the pandemic, a client hired my employee consultancy firm, Wellbeing Works, to support a team shaken by the abrupt firing of a key member.

In the run up to the firing, we discovered, the team member’s performance had dropped rapidly and he developed tense relationships with colleagues. Though the organization tried a performance improvement plan before termination, we found out that it never addressed the root trouble with the employee‘s performance: depression and anxiety arising from a problem in his personal life.

Nobody in the organization thought to offer this employee support, Employee Assistance Program information, or grace. Instead, his behavior was viewed based only on impact to work output.

More frequently, our work connects us with clients who want to proactively support their employees. For example, a client in the non-profit sector was about to undergo a large reduction in staff due to funding issues (just before the pandemic...

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At Will Status is Not a Panacea: Instead Focus on Managing for Success

management Aug 22, 2021

By: Shanna B. Tiayon, PhD

DISCLAIMER: Before I start this post it’s important that I add the disclaimer that I am not a legal professional. Therefore, managers and organizations should seek the consultation of their in-house or external legal counsel for employment law advice.

What I can, however, offer as a Sociologist and Senior Human Resources professional is twofold: 1) my perspective on the confusion of some managers about what at-will status really means and 2) a suggestion of a more proactive management approach than focusing on at-will status.

At-will law does not condone all forms of treatment or dismissal of an employee.

Understanding At-Will Employment (The Cliffs Notes Version)

Let’s start with clarifying some of the confusion around at-will status. The barebones of at-will employment is that an employee can leave his or her job for any reason and without notice and an employer can likewise terminate an employee without cause or warning....

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