Grief in the workplace that no one really talks about before it happens. This leaves employees feeling unsure of how to process their grief appropriately in the workplace. Rather you’re looking to learn more about processing your own grief or learning how to help your coworkers through their grief, these tips are a great place to start.
Everyone processes loss differently. That includes the timeline that it takes for them to move on from their grief. Be patient and remember that everyone is working through these difficult feelings in their own time. Never tell someone to just “move on” because you think enough time has passed and they shouldn’t be sad anymore. This applies to yourself too! Don’t feel ashamed if it takes you longer than you expected to overcome grief after a workplace loss.
Talking with others who are going through a similar set of emotions is an important part of the healing process. Don’t avoid talking about the loss just because it’s sad. Instead, encourage open conversations in the workplace about the deceased and the grief process. Some people will want to share more than others, but never try to force someone to open up. You can also work through your grief with a therapist outside of the workplace if that makes you feel more comfortable. Human resource departments should have a team member available for basic counseling services as needed following a workplace loss too.
Talk with your coworkers to come up with a way the workplace can honor the deceased. Planting a tree, releasing balloons, donating money to their family, and even designating a bench in their honor are all great ways to honor someone’s memory. This is an important part of the grieving process and it shows the family of the deceased just how valued they were at their job. It’s comforting to know that your family member was appreciated and will be missed by people outside of the immediate family.
When a workplace is grieving, it’s unrealistic to expect everything to continue like normal. Offer flexibility as much as possible. This means allowing people to take a day off, work from home, or adjust the number of hours they’re working while they grieve. These changes should all be optional since some employees will prefer the structure of their normal workday while they grieve. Giving employees access to a company counselor or HR member to talk with when they’re having a hard day can encourage things to get back to ‘normal’ more quickly.
Hamel-Lydon Chapel is a trusted and experienced funeral service provider in the Boston area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our funeral directors.