How Do You Support Someone Who Is Grieving at Work?

How Do You Support Someone Who Is Grieving at Work?

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It can happen to anyone, at any time. We could lose a loved one or family member in an instant and lives change forever. When you’re at work, how do you support an employee, employer or colleague through grief?

Grief doesn’t begin after bereavement leave ends. Often, that can be the start of realisation, life moves on without that the person they had in their life. Even though your colleague may seem fine, sometimes their work may take a dip. Whether that is not getting a report in on time or generally having low energy around the office, everyone grieves differently. Patience and empathy will help them during this time.

Showing your commitment to the individual is key. They are going through enough without having to worry about messing up at work or ‘put on a face’ in the office. There is no time limit on grief, but showing them that a part-time or flexible schedule could be an option, or working from home. Be open and honest. There is no one size fits all approach with grief but having options available will certainly help.

Whilst showing what you can offer is amazing, asking them what they need is important too. They might have a house to empty the contents of, other family members to help through the grieving process, or counselling to attend. Acknowledging what they need lets they know that they are supported.

There are so many things more you could do on top of the three points we’ve covered here, but making sure they know you are there for them is key. To listen, to talk, to understand. Sometimes life gets in the way of work but a work environment which supports life is crucial. You never know, you might be in the position where they feel they can return the favour one day.


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