Wilhelm Therapy > Blog > When it comes to how to treat frontline employees, Bruce Perry says it best

Wilhelm Therapy & Consulting Blog


First off, I debated with myself a long time about this blog, and about the ethics of putting out even more content on Covid-19. If you’re like me, you’ve been flooded with stories, emails, videos, all from people who are hurrying to produce content that’s relevant to Covid-19 and mental health. So if you pass on this post because it’s too much right now, I understand. I’ve been hitting the unsubscribe button a lot lately to protect myself from one more source of stimulation.

To anyone still with me and reading this, I want to say that I’m thinking of you, and I’m not alone. Competent leaders are already planning on how they will respond to the changing needs of their employees over the next year and beyond. No one is sure what the future will bring, but we do know that there will continue to be transitions, changes, stops and starts, all of which lead to fatigue and burnout for employees. This is foreseeable and expected. But strong leaders are at least trying to grapple with it.

Leave it to Dr. Bruce Perry to put this into proper perspective. The preeminent psychiatrist, trauma expert and neuroscience researcher is a huge influence on how I’ve approached trauma in clients, particularly children, throughout my career. In a recent video on Covid-19, Dr. Perry said, “If we don’t create organizational practices that facilitate the regulation of our frontline workers, we will never be able to create a workforce that will consistently meet the needs of the families and children that we’re asking them to serve.”

It’s never been more important than now to listen to those words and respond accordingly as an organization. It’s not possible to focus on client needs without focusing on frontline workers’ needs. They are irrevocably intertwined. If you are moving forward in a Covid-19 world without considering how to capably support your frontline workers, you risk becoming a perpetually distressed organization with decreased capacity and functioning for a long time to come. Although it’s hard to see positives that may come from the coronavirus while we’re in the midst of it, I believe that prioritizing the needs of our frontline employees will be one. It’s long overdue.

As always, if you or someone you know needs help, please contact me.

Take good care.