It’s a tough time for a company when a member of their team suffers a personal loss. As it’s such a sensitive situation, it needs to be dealt with carefully. After all, you want to make sure that the employee who is dealing with the loss can grieve properly while not affecting your other members of staff.
Most companies have a set bereavement leave policy in place for when this situation does occur at the workplace. That way, HR can deal with the matter effectively when it does occur at the workplace. There is a lot to think about when deciding on a bereavement plan which will work for the employee grieving as well as the rest of the workforce. Here are a few considerations HR managers need to know about when dealing with bereavement leave.
Compassion is so important when deciding on bereavement leave
While thinking about the business is important, the employee’s well-being is also important during the difficult time. Therefore, as well as dealing with the situation of bereavement leave with a professional, level head, you do need to remember this is a real person who is going through an awful time.
Therefore, you need to make sure compassion is at the front of your mind when dealing with bereavement leave. You should always speak to the person in a respectful and kind manner and ensure they get the support they need. It might be the case you consider counselling when sorting out bereavement leave. After all, you might need a professional to lend a friendly ear during this tough time.
They might need help in dealing with certain situations such as whether they should spread the ashes or create a piece of memorial jewellery with companies like Ashes Memorial Jewellery. Therefore, having someone who deals with grief to help them through this tough time will ensure they can concentrate on work when they are in their employment while having the support they need when dealing with the grief.
Flexibility is key for different circumstances
Not everybody deals with grief in the same way when it occurs in their life. While some people can feel overwhelmed with sadness, other people try to carry on as normal. The way the person dies can also make the situation very different. For instance, if it was an expected death such as a long-term illness or elderly age, it can make it easier for the employee to cope instead of a sudden death in the family.
Due to the differing circumstances, it’s so important that bereavement leave is flexible. After all, one rule will not benefit every situation. Therefore, do make sure you way up the situation when it comes to bereavement leave. Talk to the employee and see where they are at with the grieving process. You might find that certain staff members will not feel ready to come back until after the funeral.
They might need time at home to prepare for the funeral arrangements.
With that being said, an employee might need to travel to different destinations if the family member lived in a different area or even country. Therefore, as it says on HR Daily Advisor, ensure the bereavement leave is flexible for when dealing with different circumstances so it’s fair for all employees.
Consider the effects at the workplace too
After the death of a loved one, the employee will likely take a week or two off work to deal with the loss. When they return to work, they will still be dealing with the grieving process. Therefore, it’s so important HR managers consider bereavement leave in the workplace too.
It might be the case you need to give them a different role temporarily while they are grieving. As it says on Personnel Today, appropriate adjustments can sometimes be necessary such as changes to duties and flexible working. They might need something less challenging while grieving or shortened hours if they are struggling to cope.
You might also want to train certain members of staff to deal with employees who are grieving. After all, they might not know how to handle the situation sensitively. Therefore, you should arrange training so that the bereavement is dealt with efficiently at work when it does occur.
Also remember that it’s very important to have meetings regularly with the member of the staff during those first few weeks back in the job. Talking to them on a regular basis will help you to discuss if they need any additional support at that time. Their feelings will be constantly changing, and they might need different support one week to the next.