This week is Dying Matters Awareness Week and in 2018 the focus is on "What Can You Do... in your workplace?”. This gives us an unparalleled opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national stage. Dying Matters is the biggest campaign in the UK that encourages people to talk about death. It lets us think about these topics and to put plans in place: your will, funeral plans, future care and organ donation. Death affects us all, and we can only help each other if we are comfortable talking about it.
Everyone is affected by loss and grief at some time in their life. This applies in the workplace as much as anywhere else. People do not leave their grief at home when they go to work, and loss issues can also arise within the workplace. This year I lost the most influential person in my life so I can relate to this article and write from the heart.
If the needs of the grieving person are not taken into consideration at work, their pain can be intensified and suffering increased. If grief is not recognised this can lead to ill-health (mental and physical), low morale, motivation, performance and quality issues. It is, therefore, important that loss and grief issues are not ‘brushed under the carpet’ in the workplace.
Grief in the workplace is one of the themes during this Dying Matters Awareness week. Grief is a natural process that all of us will go through at some point in our lifetime. Fortunately, humans are resilient, full of grit, and can overcome almost anything.
Making time to listen to your employees, understand their needs, take action to help them achieve a way forwards is vital. This will help both the person grieving and those who make up their support system to heal, recover, and feel healthy again – communication at every intervention is key.
As as an employer, acting promptly on what you can do after the loss has occurred is crucial:
We at You HR Consultancy can offer support to your organisation across a number of situations that may arise from the death your employees experience or grief of a work colleague. Our Workplace Wellbeing service line is able to support you and your organisation in delivering an Employee Assistance Programme as well as a bespoke counselling service. Our HR Transactional service line can assist you in developing/reviewing your policies and processes. Ensuring they are robust in supporting your employees when such a life changing experience occurs.