With the Martin Place Siege occurring almost a year ago and a commemorative service planned for Tuesday 15th December*, it is likely to be a time of heightened emotion, sadness and reflection. Particularly given the current international climate, this anniversary may trigger anxiety among other emotional responses. It will be a difficult time for many people, including those employees working in the Sydney CBD.
The period leading up to Christmas has its own challenges and this anniversary is likely to intensify the emotions felt at this time. It is not uncommon for an anniversary such as this to rekindle an increased sense of fear or uneasiness and for our view of the world to shift slightly, to perhaps a less trusting one. Remembrance and reflection is normal even though we settle back into our routines and feel safe and hopeful for the future again.
For some, the anniversary will also bring about positive reactions such as a renewed sense of meaning. An event such as this can reinforce our values and what is important to us in life. We may find ourselves offering more smiles or assistance to strangers, or spending more time with our family and loved ones. Memories of the event, while still merged with sadness, may bring a sense of solidarity, as people share a renewed commitment to common values.
The way in which each of us responds to an event such as the Martin Place Siege differs considerably and no two people will react in the exact same way. Providing a sense of support and reassurance to your employees that their responses are normal is essential. Reinforce those values which bring people together. Encourage people to express their needs. Pay attention to any changes in your employees which may be indicators that they require support. For example, changes in work performance, sudden drop in attendance at work, or uncharacteristic behaviour.
If you are concerned about an employee, or you would like more information about how to support your employees, please contact our Manager Support line on 1800 818 728.
* A commemorative ceremony will take place at 8.15pm on Tuesday, December 15 in Martin Place between Phillip and Elizabeth Streets. Five nights of projections onto the Lindt Cafe building will follow. Images depicting the thousands of floral tributes and notes left by the public will be projected.
Remembering the Martin Place Siege