WW3 March 16, 2016: Making Survivors your First Priority

Wednesday Wisdom Series – 1 Aviem Wednesday Wisdom 2
Here is your bi-monthly Wednesday Wisdom series from the Family Assistance
Foundation, reminding you that a fully-integrated approach for assisting surivivors of
traumatic loss involves a balance of head and heart.

Aviem Wednesday Wisdom2 2 

Research on survivors (those in harm’s way and family members of anyone
involved in the tragedy) clearly shows that when the employees of the organization
respond with genuine concern and compassion, their actions and behaviors
reduce the harmful effects of “negative bias.” Negative bias refers to an
unconscious assumption held by many people about business and industry. It can
best be described as an underlying belief that business organizations care only,
or at least primarily, about making money and “protecting the brand,” and have no
concern for the human beings who have been involved in a tragedy simply
through using or buying the company’s goods and services.

During the first few hours of a crisis, emotional bonding best occurs when
survivors see tangible evidence, through words and actions, that the company is
determined to put survivors first—with no delay or fears about potential blame.
Empowering all within the organization, starting at the very top, to say they are
sorry the event occurred and to show genuine compassion goes a long way in
creating an environment where survivors – and the organization – have the best
opportunity for healing.

Aviem Wednesday Wisdom3 2

Every logistical team’s practice should include working with local authorities in
advance of responding to an emergency. Including representatives from the
various community stakeholders in scheduled exercises is the best way to establish
the trust and critical relationships that help ensure a prompt, compassionate, and
effective humanitarian response.  

Another benefit of community involvement is the ability to bridge the gap between
an incident and the time when the organization involved can mobilize resources to
the scene. 

These are the kinds of actions that show survivors that they are the organization’s
first priority. Working together to put survivors first is essential in reversing
negative bias and solidifying bonds between the company and survivors during the
first critical hours.

Aviem Wednesday Wisdom4

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