The “Four R’s”: Leading Real Change at Work

The events of the past two years have shown us the need to be more aware and open-minded than ever before about our mental well-being. With employees coming back to the office, going hybrid or even settling in for the long-term on remote work settings; people leaders may find themselves unprepared when it comes to providing a culture where workers feel understood and valued across multiple work environments.

By taking a trauma-informed approach to the work environment and management, organizations can create a more supportive and safe place for employees to thrive.  What is a trauma-informed workplace? A trauma-informed workplace is one that takes into account the impact of trauma on individuals and organizational effectiveness.  There is no one way for every company or organization to be “trauma informed” but it should take into account how different people have been impacted by traumas differently which will lead them down their own paths of success at work.

The “Four R’s” is an approach that leaders can take to create organizational change and lead it at every level. The first “R” stands for realization about trauma and when people or groups have been traumatized by something in their pasts. The second “R” is to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma and will vary depending on what happened but may include persistent feelings of anxiety, increased irritability, loss of concentration, and lack of vigor to come to the office or participate in remote meetings. The third “R” is having a system to respond so they are not left without support. And the fourth “R” is resisting re-traumatizing situations, specifically those that may occur as workers return to the office.

Leaders in all industries can find themselves struggling when it comes to creating a safe and supportive work environment for their employees. However, there are resources available that can help organizations take a trauma-informed approach to management. The “Four R’s” is one such framework that can be used by leaders at every level to create change within their organization. If you’re looking for assistance in preparing your people leaders for the challenges of the modern workplace, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create a thriving workplace culture.


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