Disruptive Event Management (DEM)

Despite your best efforts to create a safe work environment, sometimes a traumatic event occurs in the workplace that significantly impacts your employees’ ability to do their jobs.


Maybe it’s the result of a reduction in force, in which remaining employees cope with fears over job security and harbor survivor guilt. Maybe it’s after a workplace accident, in which a co-worker is injured or dies, and those who witnessed or tried to help are stressed and distracted after the event. Maybe the event is caused by workplace violence, by someone within or outside of the company, creating a deep sense of unease throughout the organization.


When these disruptive events occur, your employees are understandably distraught. It is not just difficult to concentrate on the job—particularly in the case of a tragedy, it may be difficult to even return to the work location.


No doubt you’re coping with your own reactions to the event, yet you also want to ensure your employees’ emotional well-being and recovery. Returning to a predictable routine can speed the healing process, and, as a business leader, you also want to help employees re-focus on their productivity, by being ready to return to work and stay at work.


A disruptive event can happen without warning: XYZ Manufacturing

It is a typical Wednesday morning at the XYZ manufacturing plant, where the nearly 400 employees on the first shift have settled into their day. Suddenly, John, one of the supervisors, collapses in the middle of the factory floor. Several employees rush to provide CPR. Others run to the HR’s office for help, and others call 911. Despite frantic efforts, even the paramedics cannot start John’s heart again, and the employees realize that a long-time coworker has passed.


Some employees break down in tears, then hug and try to console each other. Others call home to contact their own loved ones. Some employees go to the breakroom and sit, staring into space. As one of the leaders, you also feel shock and grief, and as you look around, you wonder how to help your employees get through this tragedy.


Helping employees cope with a disruptive event

Employees process what occurred in a traumatic event best when they are in a culture of psychological safety. We help organizations create that psychological safety with a customized, multipronged approach that meets a variety of you and your employees’ needs, with the goal of preparing everyone to be able to successfully return to work.


With a combination of site management consultation, group briefings focused on building resiliency, and individual employee support, one of our expert clinicians from across the United States can quickly be deployed to your location to provide the support your organization needs.


Our tailored response to leaders and employees includes:

  • On-site or telephonic availability 24/7/365 – same day or within 24 hours of request
  • Partnering with leadership to develop an effective response plan for your company
  • Helping employees build on their natural resilience and recovery, both as individuals and as teams
  • Providing employees with information on self-care and coping
  • Triage for those who might need more support for recovery
  • Telephonic for offices in remote areas or remote employees


Recovering at XYZ Manufacturing

Within 24 hours of XYZ’s Employee Assistance Program manager contacting R3 Continuum, a consultant arrives to ascertain how employees are doing, gets more details on the event, and provides coaching around leaders’ responses.


The consultant holds a large group session for all plant employees, to talk through the events, share how they are feeling as well as their memories of John. During the meeting, more tears flow, but there is laughter too, as co-workers remember some of the pranks John liked to play.


In addition to the group session, the consultant meets individually with the employees who performed CPR. After meeting with all the employees, leaders and the consultant agree that one employee who helped administer CPR, and who also worked with John, is still quite distraught and could use ongoing telephonic support, in which one of R3c’s Telephonic Clinicians will reach out and provide support to the employee multiple times over the course of ten days.


All other employees are offered a dedicated phone line enabling them to reach a consultant 24/7/365 for up to 30 days after the event. Twenty employees take advantage of the on-demand telephonic support phone line.


John’s death touches all employees at XYZ, but the rapid response and support of disruptive event management gives them the skills and education they need to cope with the loss.


As a result of the R3 Continuum consulting, the most distraught co-worker returned to work after one week; co-workers who witnessed the event had little to no absence, and the remaining employees had no days absent from work.


When do you need DEM?

You should consider disruptive event management anytime you anticipate or actually have a workplace event that impacts your employees’ ability to work, such as:

  • A natural weather disaster (i.e., flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane)
  • Robbery
  • Workplace violence
  • Suicide
  • Death of a co-worker
  • On-the-job accident/injury
  • Downsizing


No one wants to think about a tragedy or disaster affecting their employees. But by being aware of disruptive event management, you can help your employees cope and recover if a traumatic event does occur.

Related Solutions

24/7 Telephonic Support

Convenient and economical telephonic live support for individual employees to help them regain resilience and productivity following a disruptive event.

Case Coordination

Return-to-work focused interventions to ensure employees receive the right level of care needed to overcome underlying psychosocial barriers and ultimately reduce the duration of claims and lost productivity.

Leadership Consultation

Our experts support and equip leaders with innovative practices, strategies, and tools to achieve organizational and workforce recovery in the face of anticipated or unexpected disruptive events.

Crisis Response

Recovering from Distress

We provide your employees with the support and tools they need, so they can recover faster from a disruptive event, and are ready to return to work sooner.

Learn more