It is not easy to maintain a cohesive and effective team that is fit for emergent situations. Supervisors have important roles to play in offering physical and psychological support to disaster workers as they recover and resume normal routine duty. We hope the following points can give you some ideas on how to support your team:

  • Encourage managerial and front-line staff to attend debriefings to acknowledge their efforts and gather opinions for future improvements.

  • The work of disaster workers is understandably difficult; the contribution of those who are not deployed shall not be overseen since they might have to take up the workload of the deployed colleagues [1]. Show gratitude to all colleagues, including supporting staff, through official appreciation letters or certificates to recognize their efforts and contributions.

  • Unsatisfactory results or mistakes may happen during operations. As you try hard to face or rectify the mistakes, remember to put yourselves in your colleagues' shoes. Empathy fosters the sense of responsibility and facilitates the review of areas for improvements.

  • Provide psycho-education in stress management (See Preparedness: Training & Drill).

  • Observe and see if your team could gradually resume normal work. Take note of any signs of abnormality or stress, which are portrayed in Disaster Overview: What are the impacts of disaster and encourage the colleague to seek professional help as soon as possible with reference to Resources: Professional Services.

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