How a Compassionate Bereavement Experience Directly Benefits Your Business

Keagan Mcguire

In the business world, it's important to remember that employees are people first. Crazy concept, right? The concept that company culture is driven by actually caring about the well-being of the employees. Especially during the tough times like a close loss. And it all starts at the top - there is a trickle down effect when the management team leads the way during the tough times with a prepared and empathetic response. Correspondingly, there is a positive trickle down effect on the company itself as well.

In this blog, we'll explore how progressive policies and manager training will improve the overall bereavement experience and how that is directly reflected in the bottom line. Conversely, the opposite effect takes place when the situations aren’t adequately prepared for and handled.

Building Supportive Bereavement Policies

Building and implementing supportive bereavement policies guides the way when these situations arise. This requires careful consideration and a commitment to meeting the diverse needs of employees during times of loss. Having a flexible bereavement policy shows that you understand that everyone grieves differently and this gives the employees the space they need to heal.  As a result, gets the employee back to work in a better headspace and actually willing to work. What to consider:

  • Recognize that everyone grieves differently and may require varying amounts of time off.
  • Consider offering a flexible number of bereavement days based on the employee's relationship with the deceased and their individual needs. It is very important to not base policy and leave time off of relationship titles and assumptions.
  • Allow for additional time off if necessary, understanding that grief doesn't adhere to a strict timeline.

Faith Holloway, Compassionate Employers Lead at Hospice UK, joined Bereave's Loss Leaders webinar and had this to say to leadership teams who think that they don’t have the budget or resources to implement flexible bereavement time off:

Full recording and summary of Faith's interview.

Equipping Managers for Success: Training and Preparation

Creating a compassionate workplace culture entails equipping managers with the necessary skills to support employees during difficult life events. Given their pivotal role as the initial point of contact for grieving staff, managers' responses significantly influence employee well-being. However, and oddly enough, these crucial skills are often overlooked in managerial training. What to consider and why:

  • Training managers in active listening, empathy, and providing appropriate resources is essential for fostering a compassionate workplace culture.
  • Demonstrating empathy and support towards grieving employees sets a positive example for the entire team and reinforces the organization's commitment to employee well-being.
  • Offering ongoing support and guidance to managers ensures they feel confident in providing meaningful assistance to grieving employees.
  • Prioritizing manager training contributes to a workplace where empathy, support, and understanding are valued, ultimately leading to a more resilient and compassionate organization.

Ashley Heard is both a former Head of HR and General Counsel, plus Founder & CEO of Manager Method, provides her input on why starting with manager training will lead to better human and business outcomes:

Full recording and summary of Ashley's interview.

Loyalty and Retention Through Compassionate Bereavement Support

When employees feel supported and cared for during times of loss, they develop a strong bond with their employer and a desire to remain with the organization for the long term. On the other hand, according to Workplace Healing, 56% of employees are likely to leave their company when they feel unsupported by their employer following a grief event. This has an impact on other employees and the company culture - the trickle down effect. Compassionate bereavement support leads to loyalty and retention because:

  • Employees then develop a deeper sense of trust in the company and the leaders within the organization. This trust forms the foundation of a strong employer-employee relationship.
  • Allows employees to feel connected to their colleagues and committed to the overall goal.
  • Increased engagement leads to higher levels of productivity and performance.

Julie Barker is the CEO of Cultivate Talent and as a fractional HR partner, has seen all sorts of work environments and cultures being built. With that experience, Julie explains how bereavement policies and responses directly impact employee performance and loyalty:

Full recording and summary of Julie's interview.

Impact of Grief on the Workplace: By the Numbers

  • People who feel their employer cares about their well-being are 38% more engaged and 18% more likely go the extra mile for the employer (BetterUp)
  • 90% of employees said they performed better "when their company supports their emotional wellness" (Business Insider)
  • 80% of 18-34 year olds say they'd consider leaving a job if they didn't have proper bereavement support (Hospice UK’s Compassionate Employers)
  • 39% of people lied about leave to have more time off after bereavement leave (Hospice UK’s Compassionate Employers)

Investing in Compassion for Success

In the busy world of business, it's easy to forget about the human side of things. But by prioritizing compassion and support, you not only show your employees that you care but also reap the rewards in terms of loyalty, productivity, and a positive workplace culture. At Bereave, we believe that supporting your team through tough times isn't just the right thing to do – it's also good for business.

Bereave for Business has made it easy for any business to implement training, tactical guidance, internal communication/strategy and reentry plans for the grieving employee. Additionally, access to our grief platform for year round support for all employees. Book a demo and let's work together to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported, no matter what life throws their way.

In the business world, it's important to remember that employees are people first. Crazy concept, right? The concept that company culture is driven by actually caring about the well-being of the employees. Especially during the tough times like a close loss. And it all starts at the top - there is a trickle down effect when the management team leads the way during the tough times with a prepared and empathetic response. Correspondingly, there is a positive trickle down effect on the company itself as well.

In this blog, we'll explore how progressive policies and manager training will improve the overall bereavement experience and how that is directly reflected in the bottom line. Conversely, the opposite effect takes place when the situations aren’t adequately prepared for and handled.

Building Supportive Bereavement Policies

Building and implementing supportive bereavement policies guides the way when these situations arise. This requires careful consideration and a commitment to meeting the diverse needs of employees during times of loss. Having a flexible bereavement policy shows that you understand that everyone grieves differently and this gives the employees the space they need to heal.  As a result, gets the employee back to work in a better headspace and actually willing to work. What to consider:

  • Recognize that everyone grieves differently and may require varying amounts of time off.
  • Consider offering a flexible number of bereavement days based on the employee's relationship with the deceased and their individual needs. It is very important to not base policy and leave time off of relationship titles and assumptions.
  • Allow for additional time off if necessary, understanding that grief doesn't adhere to a strict timeline.

Faith Holloway, Compassionate Employers Lead at Hospice UK, joined Bereave's Loss Leaders webinar and had this to say to leadership teams who think that they don’t have the budget or resources to implement flexible bereavement time off:

Full recording and summary of Faith's interview.

Equipping Managers for Success: Training and Preparation

Creating a compassionate workplace culture entails equipping managers with the necessary skills to support employees during difficult life events. Given their pivotal role as the initial point of contact for grieving staff, managers' responses significantly influence employee well-being. However, and oddly enough, these crucial skills are often overlooked in managerial training. What to consider and why:

  • Training managers in active listening, empathy, and providing appropriate resources is essential for fostering a compassionate workplace culture.
  • Demonstrating empathy and support towards grieving employees sets a positive example for the entire team and reinforces the organization's commitment to employee well-being.
  • Offering ongoing support and guidance to managers ensures they feel confident in providing meaningful assistance to grieving employees.
  • Prioritizing manager training contributes to a workplace where empathy, support, and understanding are valued, ultimately leading to a more resilient and compassionate organization.

Ashley Heard is both a former Head of HR and General Counsel, plus Founder & CEO of Manager Method, provides her input on why starting with manager training will lead to better human and business outcomes:

Full recording and summary of Ashley's interview.

Loyalty and Retention Through Compassionate Bereavement Support

When employees feel supported and cared for during times of loss, they develop a strong bond with their employer and a desire to remain with the organization for the long term. On the other hand, according to Workplace Healing, 56% of employees are likely to leave their company when they feel unsupported by their employer following a grief event. This has an impact on other employees and the company culture - the trickle down effect. Compassionate bereavement support leads to loyalty and retention because:

  • Employees then develop a deeper sense of trust in the company and the leaders within the organization. This trust forms the foundation of a strong employer-employee relationship.
  • Allows employees to feel connected to their colleagues and committed to the overall goal.
  • Increased engagement leads to higher levels of productivity and performance.

Julie Barker is the CEO of Cultivate Talent and as a fractional HR partner, has seen all sorts of work environments and cultures being built. With that experience, Julie explains how bereavement policies and responses directly impact employee performance and loyalty:

Full recording and summary of Julie's interview.

Impact of Grief on the Workplace: By the Numbers

  • People who feel their employer cares about their well-being are 38% more engaged and 18% more likely go the extra mile for the employer (BetterUp)
  • 90% of employees said they performed better "when their company supports their emotional wellness" (Business Insider)
  • 80% of 18-34 year olds say they'd consider leaving a job if they didn't have proper bereavement support (Hospice UK’s Compassionate Employers)
  • 39% of people lied about leave to have more time off after bereavement leave (Hospice UK’s Compassionate Employers)

Investing in Compassion for Success

In the busy world of business, it's easy to forget about the human side of things. But by prioritizing compassion and support, you not only show your employees that you care but also reap the rewards in terms of loyalty, productivity, and a positive workplace culture. At Bereave, we believe that supporting your team through tough times isn't just the right thing to do – it's also good for business.

Bereave for Business has made it easy for any business to implement training, tactical guidance, internal communication/strategy and reentry plans for the grieving employee. Additionally, access to our grief platform for year round support for all employees. Book a demo and let's work together to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported, no matter what life throws their way.

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