You’ve taken care of inventory, filed the police reports, but have you checked-in with your staff recently? As an owner you are affected by a robbery, but take a moment to think about the direct impact it had on those you employ. How people react to these events varies from person to person and depends on individual factors such as how one usually handles stressful situations and what kind of support they have both inside and outside of work. Workers’ reaction may be immediate or may be delayed. Some workers may even experience symptoms that are physical, emotional, or cognitive (involving your thinking ability).

What to Do Immediately

Create a sense of calm by giving workers information about what will be happening immediately and over the next few days. There will be an increase presence of security, police, etc.

Help them become calmer for example, provide water and a place to sit down. Remind them to breathe deep to talk their body’s reactions.

Promote a feeling of community support from managers and coworkers is very important.

Assess your own reactions. Do you tend to be calm or anxious when dealing with a crisis? It’s okay to help yourself before you can effectively help others. Just be honest with your team.

The Next Day

Check in individually with any workers that were directly affected. Allow a day for workers to recover if they request. They too should be contacted at home and reassured that they did a good job. Individual reactions can vary widely, based on each person’s personal life and past experiences.

Workers that do return to work should have equal support. Check in and ask how they’re doing, if they’re well-rested, and what it’s like coming back to work. You may get requests for extra security precautions, this is completely normal.

1 – 2 Weeks After the Robbery

Continue to check in with everyone. Just because things are “business as usually” doesn’t mean everyone is fully recovered.

Allow the worker to talk about their experience even long after you’re tired of hearing about it. Everyone heals at their own pace.

Don’t minimize the fear or seriousness of the event as a way of “helping”. The victim then feels that you don’t adequately understand the event or sympathize with fears that normally occur after such a traumatic event.

Consider adding additional security measures. This can include posting signs that patrons are being filmed, asking patrons to show their face to match ID, purchasing alarm systems, or hiring OLCC-approved security guards.

Try to understand that the suffering is normal. We can’t hurry to “make things better”. It is a genuine healing process that must be worked through. You can always remind workers of Cannabis Workers Coalition’s support available through email, Instagram, or Hotline.

Note that the contents of this guide are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. Contact the Cannabis Workers Coalition for employee-side employment attorney referrals.