Forward planning by human resources departments ensures rapid response to terror threats

HR teams in front-line organisations are primed to deal with staff fears about coming to work amid the bomb scares.

Stephen Hall, former HR director of Underground maintenance firm Metronet, insisted that any staff concerns about working on the London Underground during times of heightened security threats were immediately dealt with thanks to effective communication between employees and management.

He also told Personnel Today that, from his experience at Metronet, staff at London Under­ground had “no fear” of coming to work during ‘nation-critical’ alerts.

“Whenever a critical or severe alert happens, there is a well-used, well-operated plan put into force,” he said. “HR is pivotal in ensuring that all the procedures are in place, that effective two-way communication occurs, and that staff are mobilised according to where they need to be.

“Any occasional concerns from members of staff on the front line are dealt with in a cascaded briefing system and dealt with immediately. [In exceptional cases] HR will offer coaching or counselling to those employees that need it,” he added.

Hall also said HR at Metronet had never had to deal with staff from ethnic backgrounds being bullied during terrorist attacks. “There are no segregation issues on the London Underground. There is an ethnic mix of staff all the way through and team members work together irrespective of background,” he stressed.

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