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How to Approach Grief in the Workplace August 12, 2022

How to deal with grief in the workplace

When someone close passes away, the grief can permeate every aspect of the lives of those who were closest. This includes the workplace. If you’ve ever spent time with a co-worker who has lost a spouse or child, the grief can be palpable. How can grief be best handled in the workplace?

Bereavement Policies

When a close relative or spouse passes on, those left behind not only need to grieve but there are also lots of other things to take care of. There are financial obligations, final arrangements, and memorial services to plan, and a host of almost uncountable details to take care of. A company should be able to offer an employee ample time off with pay to face this period with little to no work-related stress. Employees will not remember every detail of those days of grief, but they will remember the support they received from their employer.

Employee Assistance Programs

Employers can go above and beyond a paid bereavement period by offering additional assistance for grieving employees. These could include grief counseling and access to legal services. This not only benefits the grieving person but can help return a valued member of the staff to full productivity.

A Flexible Vacation and PTO Policy

In addition to bereavement time, a flexible vacation and PTO policy can help a grieving person through potential waves of grief that can follow. It may not be practical for every company to say “Take as much time as you need,” but flexibility and compassion can go a long way. That policy could extend to those closest to the grieving person at the workplace so they can be available to support their friend and, of course, attend services.

Creating a Supportive Environment

In general, a workplace should support a grieving employee as much as possible, even to the point of including a safe space for them to take a break. The goal, of course, is to recognize and validate an employee’s loss while providing them with the necessary support to heal.

At the Cremation Society of Northern Kentucky, we understand the far-reaching impacts of death. That includes the workplace.

Should you have any questions about the cremation process, we invite you to contact us. We can also help you with pre-planning your own final services.

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