Did you know that in the United States, companies lose about $75 billion on a yearly basis because of grief-related losses? When an employee loses a loved one, he or she is entitled to paid leaves (around three to four days). Apart from loss in productivity, firms and business owners also send out Memorial gifts and offer financial assistance as ways of showing their sympathy.
But despite these “losses,” companies still do their best in expressing their concern for a bereaved employee. In this article, we’re rounding up nine ways on how you can help out a grieving colleague.
Know that grieving is a highly personal process. The way a person grieves shouldn’t be compared with another. Be considerate and be patient when your employee undergoes one of the most painful experiences in his or her life.
Show your concern and empathy. If a colleague of yours has lost a loved one, never forget to show your sympathy. A simple gesture and act of love can go a long way. If he or she is also a close friend, let them know that you will be there for them and you’re willing to be of help.
Be careful with the words you will say. When expressing your sympathy, don’t just say things carelessly. A grieving person is in a sensitive state and some words — though coming from a good intention — can actually hurt rather than help them ease their pain. Avoid saying phrases like “You’re going to be fine” or “Everything happens for a reason” — instead, say things like “We’re here for you” or “We respect your privacy, we are willing to listen once you’re ready.”
Give them time off. On average, US companies give four days of paid leave for an employee who lost a spouse or a child; three days if the deceased is a parent or a sibling.
Let other employees know about the situation. Other employees, especially team leaders and managers, should be aware of the bereaved’s situation. This way, the whole organization or department can adjust and be productive still. Also, let them know and understand how should they approach the grieving colleague.
Send memorial gifts. One of the most popular ways of expressing sympathy is sending out memorial gifts like flowers. Small tokens like these are time-honored means of showing your genuine concern about a person’s loss.
Offer resources especially for struggling employees. To some extent, companies also offer monetary aid especially to employees who are financially struggling. They do a fund-raising activity to gather money for their bereaved colleague. Other benefits also include free grief counseling.
Provide emotional support. During and even after the funeral service, it will be significantly helpful for a grieving person to have emotional support coming from his or her colleagues. This will be beneficial especially when the bereaved is transitioning back to work.
Be observant. Especially in the weeks or months after the bereaved employee has returned to work, you should be keen whether he or she is exhibiting unusual behavior. As mentioned above, you can also offer grief counseling and seek professional help when you notice that something is off with the employee.
Memorial gifts can help you express your sympathy for a grieving family or friend. At Remember Me Gifts, we have tons of options to help celebrate the lives of people who have passed on.