One of the most difficult and sensitive duties you’ll have as a corporate executive is figuring out how to help colleagues through loss. It’s difficult to deal with death. When we lose someone close to us, life as we know it seems to come to a halt. Unfortunately, life will never be the same without that individual. We eventually come to accept our “new normal.” Whether death is expected or unexpected, it is a harsh fact that everything changes the instant you hear the news.
- Reach Out to the Whole Team
Empathy is an important part of becoming a good leader. You should tell your whole staff as soon as you learn of an employee’s death and have basic facts to provide. It’s usually preferable to have such information from the top than via the rumor mill. As a result, it should be distributed simultaneously to all necessary parties. Call a meeting with the deceased’s team or department. Alternatively, if your organization is small, get everyone together. Explain what happened directly and honestly, without going into detail about how the employee died.
You may explain what happened directly and honestly, without going into detail about how the employee died. Try and be honest, yet mindful of the deceased’s family’s desires. If you don’t know the answer to a question asked by another employee or don’t have the family’s permission to share information, simply indicate you don’t know but will look into it. Allow team members to express their emotions and grieve throughout the meeting. Make it clear that you are behind your personnel.
- Secure a Life Insurance Policy
Consider purchasing a vital life insurance policy for employees. This will increase employee loyalty because it’ll show your employees that you care for both your employees and their families, and after the employee dies, the family can use the life insurance policy to help pay for the funeral and living expenses in the first few months afterward.
- Honor the Deceased Colleague
Logically, your staff would want to attend a colleague’s funeral. And, if it works for your company, you should promote it and be as accommodating as possible. Depending on the nature of your firm, maintaining an open and functioning workplace with a particular number of employees may be crucial. It’s possible that permitting everyone to attend the funeral will be impossible. You must also be fair and treat all employees similarly – you cannot allow some staff to take time off while others do not.
You can send representatives to the funeral on behalf of the firm, or you can hold a memorial ceremony at the workplace at a time that is more convenient for the company, and invite the deceased’s family. This has the extra benefit of allowing you to emphasize the employee’s importance to the organization while also allowing other employees to speak if wanted.
- Create a Future Work Plan
If you’ve just lost an employee, it’s a good idea to prepare for the worst. The best moment to consider is when you are focused, calm, and thinking clearly, rather than trying to fix a work dilemma while in shock or upset, such as shortly after a funeral.
In the meantime, you can appoint a backup worker to assist in any time that an employee is absent from the workplace. In the event of a death, that same individual can assist in shouldering the deceased’s employment obligations until a more permanent solution is found.