Grief affects all of us at different times and places in our lives. The workplace is not untouched by grief. Grief in the workplace occurs when you or a co-worker has experienced a personal loss or a workplace loss such as a death. It is important to remember that everyone grieves differently and everyone needs time to adjust to the loss. Here are some tips to help you and your co-workers cope with your grief:
Remembering your co-worker
- Attend the funeral or memorial service of the person who died.
- Create a memorial board. Encourage your co-workers to post messages or memories that remind them of your co-worker.
- Consider holding a memorial service at your workplace. A brief service of remembrance can be helpful. Even if it is just a time to set aside for you and your co-workers to acknowledge your unique relationships with your co-worker.
- Remember the person at staff meetings or annual events. These are times when grief reactions can resurface for your and your co-workers.
- Hold or join in a fundraiser for a special cause in memory of the deceased.
- Stay in touch with the deceased’s family. Send a card or note to let them know you have not forgotten them or your co-worker.
Offering support to co-workers and employees
- Supporting each other and your employees will be essential to the grieving and healing process and maintaining a healthy workplace.
- Know the company’s bereavement policies and ways the company can provide support.
- Respect confidentiality and avoid gossip. If the deceased’s family is private about the details, set that example for co-workers or employees.
- Be flexible and support one another. What someone needs today may be different tomorrow.
- Listen. Co-workers and employees may need to talk about the person who died for weeks or months to come.