Guests: Tanzim Milkey, Katie Huey, & Sarah Novoa

Three courageous individuals  joined our first virtual panel to share their personal experiences in the workplace through a close loss.

Each panelist brings a unique perspective, uncovering the different ways grief affects our professional lives and the impact that a company can have during their employees toughest times.

Their stories highlight the significance of both positive and negative experiences while working through grief - what went well, what didn't, their suggestions for leadership teams, etc.

We covered a ton in a short amount of time! Here’s the TLDW;
(or you could just hit play!)

Manager Autonomy: Research shows that giving managers the autonomy to support grieving employees in ways that suit the individual’s needs is more effective than rigid policies.

Extended Grieving Period: Grief is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Employees may need support long after the initial loss, and understanding this is crucial for providing sustained assistance.

Compassionate Response: Responding with compassion acknowledges the lasting impact of grief and creates a supportive environment where employees feel understood and valued.

Logistical Support: Managers can alleviate the burden on grieving employees by handling work-related logistics, such as creating a plan for time off, project coverage, and communication during the absence.

Communication with Colleagues: Encouraging open communication about how much information grieving employees want to share with colleagues and their preferred communication methods can help avoid misunderstandings and overwhelm.

Empathy Training: Training programs should focus on developing empathy skills and normalizing uncomfortable conversations about grief to create a more supportive workplace culture.

Customized Support: Recognizing that everyone grieves differently, support should be tailored to individual needs, preferences, and circumstances rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach.

Clarity in Support: Instead of offering vague assistance like “Let me know how I can help,” it’s more effective to offer specific support options and be clear about what assistance is available.

Re-entry Support: Creating a welcoming environment for employees returning to work after a loss involves understanding changes in behavior or performance, offering flexibility, and providing ongoing support as needed.

Perspective Shift: Experiencing grief can lead to a shift in perspective on work, emphasizing the importance of empathy, understanding, and flexibility from managers and colleagues.

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