Supporting a grieving employee

Losing a loved one is a deeply painful, yet inevitable experience, which is why your business should be prepared to support a grieving employee.

In difficult times, your workplace should treat mourning staff members with as much compassion and sensitivity as possible. Sometimes this is easier said than done as fulfilling the needs of a distressed employee cannot compromise your business’ productivity.

Follow these steps to make sure you can help a grieving employee get back on their feet while keeping your business on track.

  • Have a face to face

Once your employee is able to make it back into the office, you should call them in for a face-to-face chat. You can offer your condolences, show empathy for their suffering and give them the chance to vent in a safe and private space. This meeting also gives you the opportunity to check in on how your employee is doing and assess whether or not they are ready to continue working.

  • Offer time off

Your employee may need a break to get their affairs together, manage funeral arrangements, and process their emotions. Your full time and part time employees are entitled to two days of paid bereavement leave after the death of a close family member. Keep in mind that the grieving process takes time and your employee may need to take extended leave.

  • Adjust their workload

If your employee returns to work shortly after their loss, ensure their workload is manageable. You may need to relieve them of some of their responsibilities and limit client facing tasks.

  • Get your staff on board

Your staff should be notified of your employee’s loss so they are treated with sensitivity. Encourage your employees to take on extra work and provide emotional support to assist your grieving team member in their time of need. Consider organising a fundraiser to help with funeral costs or make a donation to a relevant charity to show your office support.

Stressed business woman