One of my flagship programmes is called "Grief at Work" designed to help employers understand how grief affects their workforce, and how they can best support bereaved colleagues.
When I tell people this, they often start off by thinking it is something morbid, or doubting that this is even necessary.
However, very quickly, they find a private moment to talk to me about their own losses. Sometimes very raw and recent. Sometimes in the distant past. Always, they tell me how hard it was when they returned to work after their bereavement. Often, they themselves are still grieving and need someone to talk to.
I make no claims to being a bereavement counsellor. There are many better-qualified people and organisations who do that.
Where I CAN make a difference, is to combine my decades of experience in both corporate leadership and in leadership development to focus on educating corporate leaders.
In my research, people have told me things like "we were rocked by the lack of support and understanding out there", or "After my father died, it was very much a case of carry on as if nothing has happened." Or "My company acted like they were not very experienced with how to deal with these things, and just followed the company handbook copy and paste approach (i.e. what they are mandated to do)"
And yet death is literally an everyday occurrence, and on any given day, it is estimated that around 10% of the UK workforce are actively affected by a bereavement.
This is a perfect example of where soft skills can have hard benefits. Of combining compassion with an eye on the bottom line. Grief affects productivity for a considerable period. Given suitable support, a grieving member of staff returns to full productivity quicker and more successfully than when their grief is ignored or mis-handled.
These are just some of the reasons why I am passionate about my "Grief at Work" programme.
Would you like to get the discussion going in your workplace?
I can help your organisation with Grief at Work in many ways:
- a brief 2-hour introductory workshop educates people in the the grief process and its impact on members of staff and their performance.
- in a half-day workshop, participants will also develop confidence talking about difficult and sensitive topics
- in a full-day workshop, I will also help participants to deal with their own concerns, fears and self-limiting beliefs about death, grief and bereavement, and know how to give compassionate practical and emotional support to bereaved staff.
To learn more, visit get in touch me and we can have a chat.
Madeleine Allen is a human leader in a corporate world. She delivers training in Soft Skills with Hard Benefits, enabling leaders to be compassionate AND profitable.
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