Corporate Grief Support
Grief and loss touch everyone, and the workplace is no exception. Most companies do not adequately address the needs of employees who are grieving. Grief occurs along the continuum of loss and requires attention and support, when anticipating a loss from a terminal illness, coping with a death, and upon re-entry to work following a bereavement leave. Research indicates that bereaved employees show a sharp decline in productivity following the death of an important person for extended periods of time. While grief is universal, the impact on everyone is unique and an employee needs to be individually assessed in a culturally sensitive way with empathy and compassion. A recent research study found that the relationship between the bereaved and their supervisor had a direct impact, both formal and informal, on how bereavement leave was awarded. It is in the best interest of employers and employees to develop policies and structures to assist the return to work and full productivity.
Grief-related losses cost U.S. companies as much as $75 billion annually
While Jeff’s Place is a children’s bereavement program, we have found that the needs of all ages have increased significantly over the course of COVID-19. As a community of grievers, adults have experienced loss upon loss, stress upon stress, and we have had to learn how to adapt our daily living in every aspect of our lives, personally and professionally.
Well-being in the workplace is critical. Offering emotional support and accommodations for grieving employees not only fosters greater presenteeism/less absenteeism and productivity, most importantly, but also cultivates a community of care that increases communication, commitment, and engagement.
Jeff’s Place is able to provide employee-centered approaches to support grieving employees in the following ways:
- Assist in the creation or revisioning of bereavement policies
- Create structures and systems that support employees returning to work after a death
- Provide education and training for managers and those in leadership positions on how to support employees who are grieving
- Provide Lunch & Learn workshops on general or tailored aspects of Grief & Loss
- Offer drop-in groups (ongoing) or closed session support groups for employees who are bereaved
- Offer limited 1:1 sessions with bereaved employees to determine needs
- Act as a resource in matching support services/referrals with specific needs of those who are grieving
After a death, employees and employers may struggle with issues:
My team member lost a family member, and I don’t know how to support them.
Someone on my team died and I don’t know how to provide support.
I lost someone and need to take time, but I don’t know how to talk to my manager.
I don’t know how much time I need or how much time I can take and still feel supported.
I can’t afford to lose my job, but I feel totally consumed and know I can’t fully be productive.
I lost a close friend, but they aren’t considered part of my bereavement benefit – how do I ask for time off?