Bereavement Policy Consultation, and Grief Response Training Services
Few organizations have clearly defined HR policies when it comes to an employee’s loss of a loved one. C-Level and Upper Management should understand how to correctly respond to an employee that is grieving. Employees need to know how to respond to a grieving co-worker without creating an uncomfortable working environment.
The Reality of Bereavement Leave in the U.S.
Since COVID, the lack of adequate bereavement leave in the U.S. is gaining awareness. Fortune Magazine covered the topic in late 2022, as did Business Insider and Harvard Business Review in 2020.
Lack of Guidelines
Oregon, Maryland, and California (as of January 2023) are currently the only states that mandate employers to give employees time off when a loved one dies. No other state has a law, nor does the Federal Government. Without parameters and expectations, employers are missing an opportunity to offer the support that employees seek. 100% of us suffer loss of some kind — the need is unavoidable.
Current Standards Are Not Enough
The average time off (unpaid) for an employee who has lost a loved one is 3 to 5 days. In most cases, this is barely enough time to plan and attend a funeral.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 established a new paid bereavement benefit, giving most federal civilian employees two weeks of paid leave for the death of a child.
In recent years, companies like Facebook, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard and others have extended paid bereavement leave to 20 days for immediately family and pregnancy loss.
A basic evaluation of HR policies regarding bereavement leave, and suggested action steps for revision.
A deeper evaluation of bereavement policies, including multiple meetings and discussions with executive staff to develop a clearly defined approach, as well as contingencies for extreme circumstances, and a strategy for communicating with bereaved employees to establish concise expectations for all.
Grief Response Training – Peer to Peer
Half-day workshop for employees, training them on how to adequately respond to and support a co-worker that may be grieving. Addresses what to say/not say, how to handle difficult emotions, and how to offer help at work.
Grief Response Training – Upper Management
Half-day workshop for upper management to help them understand how to handle their grieving employees with care, communicating with them about their needs, while still being able to set expectations for their productivity. This is important for employee retention and a satisfactory working environment.