Workplace First Steps

During the hectic and emotional time surrounding the loss of a loved one, there are many personal matters that take priority. It is also important to consider the professional and/or business needs, particularly those impacted by a personal loss. Notifying and informing employers, managers and possibly co-workers about a death and requesting or discussing necessary time off is a first step and essential professional communication.

In the midst of grief, items at work are generally not a priority, but taking the first step to notify the supervisor allows the business to be aware of the loss, to understand the schedule of the affected worker, and to care for both the needs of the business and the employee.

Notifying the supervisor allows the business to plan

Notifying the supervisor allows the business to consider the amount of time that will be needed to be taken for the bereavement period, which is an important first step. It is helpful to review the company’s bereavement policy with a supervisor or human resource department. Although a bereavement policy usually sets a stated amount of time for bereavement leave as a guide, every situation is unique. Because of mourning customs or specific circumstances, exceptions to the policy may occasionally be made.

Notifying the supervisor allows the business to assume responsibility for projects and duties during the employee’s absence. It allows the business to proceed as normal as possible during the absence and allocate responsibilities to co-workers during the absence, which will make for a smooth return.

Notifying the supervisor allows the business to help

Generally, upon notifying the company a business circulates a bereavement notice informing co-workers of details surrounding the loss relating to the funeral and memorial service and allows the company to express condolences. The company may have policies in place that include sending a sympathy card, condolence gift such as sympathy basket, sending flowers or setting up a memorial to honor the loss.

Finally, notifying the company provides the most expedient way for co-workers to hear about the loss. Many businesses have strategies for the communication of pertinent information to the people who need to know in a timely and efficient manner. Allowing the business to share the information of the loss takes one more stress off the employee during the difficult time of bereavement.