Help Your Organization Rise After a Critical Incident

If tragedy strikes, how will your organization respond? While every HR leader wants to avoid traumatic experiences at work, every HR leader also needs to think about their organization’s crisis response. Critical incidents such as a death of an employee, serious workplace injury, or threats to safety are more common than you may think.

Carebridge helps organizations and its workers navigate workplace trauma by offering employee support, immediate intervention strategies, and post-response assistance. If a tragedy shows up at the workplace, Carebridge helps you show up for the workplace.

upset workers comforting
upset workers comforting

What is a Critical Incident?

It’s an unfortunate, unavoidable reality: Tragedies happen. A critical incident is an event out of the range of normal experience. Unlike everyday workplace challenges such as workload stress or internal disagreements, critical incidents are sudden and unexpected. They involve the perception of a threat to life and can include elements of physical and/or emotional loss.

  • Common examples of critical incidents include:

  • The death of an employee
  • Serious workplace injury
  • Robbery
  • Threats of violence
  • Community-wide disaster
sad corporate woman at a laptop

Immediate Intervention Improves Lives

In the wake of a critical incident, a timely response matters. Delaying intervention can lead to higher levels of post-traumatic stress, decreased productivity, and increased absenteeism in the workplace.

Carebridge helps ensure organizations can recover quickly after experiencing trauma by giving HR leaders tools and support to intervene immediately.

  • Why Turn to Carebridge After a Critical Incident?

  • Our personalized, people-first EAP solution ensures HR leaders can respond fast and effectively after a tragedy. We offer:
  • 24-7 management consultation and assessment
  • Immediate intervention via tele-defusing
  • On-site critical incident stress debriefings (CISDs)
  • Post-response support and follow-up
  • On-site and/or virtual grief and loss sessions
sad corporate woman at a laptop

How Workplace Trauma Affects Organizations

Even after the initial crisis, trauma and other critical incidents can have lasting emotional, physical, and psychological effects among everyone in the workplace.

Your crisis response to workplace trauma determines how fast and effectively your organization can heal from the incident. Providing employee support through grief counseling, educational materials, and other wellness initiatives is vital to restoring workplace productivity and protecting your employees’ mental health.

Trauma can affect the whole person.


  • Burnout
  • Numbness
  • Irritability
  • Fear


  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Insomnia
  • Physical pain
  • Exhaustion


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Flashbacks

Support Employees Through Workplace Trauma

Managers and HR professionals play an important role in responding to critical incidents and helping employees restore their emotional wellbeing. Combined with the comprehensive tools and resources offered by Carebridge EAP, organizational leaders can be a force for good in helping their teams navigate the difficult waters of workplace trauma.

How Can Managers and HR Leaders Support Their Teams?

    • Critical Incident Stress Management

    Workplace trauma can have lasting effects on employee stress, productivity, and morale. Organizational leaders should prioritize helping workers manage their stress as part of the crisis response. This support includes offering one-on-one sessions, and connecting them with mental health counselors through their EAP.

    • Critical Incident Preparation

    While nothing can fully safeguard individuals from the effects of workplace trauma, critical incident preparation will help build a more resilient workforce if the unfortunate happens. Managers and HR leaders should assess their current workplace for potential sources of critical incidents, as well as help foster greater employee wellbeing before a crisis occurs.

    • Demobilization

    Following a critical incident, managers and HR leaders must respond quickly and transparently to help employees cope with the impact of trauma. Demobilization is a tactic where organizational leaders invite employee questions and concerns, host discussions, and provide concrete action plans to help all of those affected cope in a healthy way.

    • Crisis Debriefing

    Several days following the critical incident, HR leaders and managers should consider holding a debriefing session for all of those affected by the tragedy. Debriefing is not grief or trauma counseling. Rather, it’s a way to hold space for employees to discuss their experience once enough time has passed to process the event.

    • Follow-up Support

    Workplace trauma doesn’t disappear overnight. Managers and HR leaders should continue to monitor their employees’ wellbeing after the event and provide follow-up support. Carebridge EAP offers a comprehensive solution for helping employees improve their mental wellness, making it a valuable resource to help employees before and after a critical incident.

In a Crisis, Carebridge is There to Help.

Sometimes, the unthinkable happens. If it does, a partner like Carebridge can help you respond quickly, intervene effectively, and care genuinely about employee wellbeing. Show empathy for workers by being there when they need it most.