Here are four suggestions for employers who want to help employees going through this life event:
* Make contact with the employee as soon as you learn of the death. You can express sympathy and ask what the employee might need.
* Stay in contact with the bereaved employee while he/she is out of the office after the death. Try to be as flexible as feasibly possible when negotiating when is the best time for the employee to return.
* Let the rest of the staff know that the co-worker has suffered a loss. If possible, the company should allow staff to attend the funeral or reach out to their co-worker in some way. It’s often a good idea to have the staff send a group condolence note or gift to the affected employee.
* When the employee returns to the office, recognize that the employee may not be able to immediately be as productive as he/she was before the loss. Fellow employees may be urged to help out the affected employee for awhile. Most employees will be willing because they know that they will get similar treatment when they suffer a loss.
Jane Galbraith, BScN, R.N., is the author of “Baby Boomers Face Grief – Survival and Recovery”. Her work in the community health field included dealing with palliative clients and their bereaved families and has also assisted facilitating grief support groups. She speaks to many organizations and employers including the Bereavement Ontario Network annual meeting and the Canadian Palliative Care and Hospice Conference in the fall of 2007. Her book is available through the author directly at [email protected] or www.amazon.ca. More information about the book can be found at www.trafford.com/05-2319.Tags: grief, hope