So many people have lost loved ones during this pandemic. I have lost two. Whether you’ve lost a loved one from COVID or from other causes, the uniqueness of a pandemic means we don’t have the opportunity to have the closure that we do during normal circumstances. Celebration of life events, funerals, etc. are important rituals that allow us to honor the lives of our loved ones. And these events often occur before we return to work.
Without those, employees may be returning to work (virtually or otherwise) without having had that opportunity. It becomes more difficult to move through the grief process without those important rituals. In thinking about this, I realized many workplaces may be struggling with how to deal with grief as it spills over into the workplace even more now than it might in normal circumstances. And, although difficult, I thought it was a timely topic to write about.
How do organizations support employees coping with the loss of a loved one? If done well, it can provide enormous emotional support to the employee during one of the most difficult times in their life. If done poorly, it can compound additional grief onto an already traumatic experience. What kind of employer do you want to be?
Laurie is an experienced Human Resources executive who is passionate about organizational culture, creating great workplaces and employee engagement.