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Oct 29

Building a Trauma-Informed Business in Lenawee

Posted on October 29, 2019 at 12:21 PM by Jennifer Ambrose

Why Training Your Employees to Become Trauma-Informed Benefits Your Bottom Line


trainIt may seem like the opportunities for staff training are endless.  Whether they are mandated by law, critical for operations, or further the educational opportunities for your employees, it can be difficult to balance the need for training with the workload needed to keep your business running.  Training your staff on becoming trauma-informed may seem like something you could skip or put off until next year – but it is worth another look.  This training could have a major impact on your employees, customers, and ultimately impact your revenue.


Adverse Childhood Traumas

acesAdverse childhood traumas (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse, neglect, or household challenges that occur before an individual becomes an adult.  The number of ACEs a person experiences strongly influences their development. 


The Lenawee Health Network researchers have discovered a correlation between ACEs and adult problems.  In Lenawee County, 15% of adults have experienced 4 or more ACEs.  That means 15% of your employees have experienced these issues.  Research shows that the conditions and behaviors of ACEs are often the same conditions and behaviors that lead to absenteeism, job problems, and other indicators of poor work performance.  Training their fellow co-workers and your management team on considering trauma when approaching problems, you can interrupt the connection between past trauma and current performance. 


This is not just limited to your staff.  This also means that 15% of your customers have experienced trauma that is affecting their behaviors as an adult.  Training your employees be to be trauma-informed will increase empathy, enhance safety, and ensure improved delivery of services. 


Benefits of Becoming a Trauma-Informed Business

empathyUnderstanding what others are going through creates empathy.  Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, to place oneself in another’s position.  


Empathy has many benefits to your business, but one of the most tangible, visible impacts is on an improvement in customer service.  Customers often just want to be heard and understood.  It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with every single thing that they are saying or give them everything they want, but customers will often walk away happy from an interaction if empathy is displayed, which will create brand loyalty.


Empathy also improves teamwork.  When team members empathize with each other, your team can solve problems like never before.  Disagreement, frustration, and ill feelings go away and are replaced with a synergetic cohesive unit that is focused on delivering results. 


Finally, empathy fuels innovation.  There are many studies today that highlight the correlation between empathy and innovation.  So much so, that the Cleveland Clinic has an entire conference devoted to the two to improve the patient experience.  CEOs from Microsoft, Warby Parker, and KIND are shifting their focus to empathy training for their employees because of the innovation that can grow out of an empathetic team.


How Does My Business Become Trauma-Informed?

assessThe first step to becoming a trauma-informed organization is to conduct an organizational assessment.  Lenawee County Mental Health Authority can assist you in conducting an assessment at no charge to your business.  An assessment is important to begin with because it gives you a baseline in which to track improvement over time.


The time it will take to complete an assessment will depend on the size of your business, internal team members available to help complete the assessment, and your organization’s schedule. 


Regardless of the size of your organization,  becoming trauma-informed will better your business and would be an important investment that will return your investment of time many times over.


Contact LCMH at 517-263-8905 or visit us online for more information or to schedule an organization assessment.


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