Once the immediate crisis has passed—you’ve ensured everyone’s safety, put steps in place for the future, gotten leaders aligned in their messaging, and so on—your work is not done.
Trauma is outside the norm, and this phase, moving into stability, is when trouble often arises.
At this point, it’s important not to fall prey to hubris (“We’ve got this under control!”) or resort to the stiff upper lip approach (“Stop whining! We’ve just got to tough this out!”). Also, we need to be careful not to let the traumatic event become taboo. Most companies need help facilitating this part because the whole subject is so emotionally charged.
It’s here where many companies drop the ball. Some semblance of normal life returns, work gets busy, and it feels like there is no more time to spend on the trauma. But if you stop now, the impact of your initial hard work will be lost.
In order to effectively communicate after a crisis, you’ll need to start by debriefing your response to the crisis through a process called a “Look Back,” also known as an After Action Review (AAR).