“I can't imagine a much more challenging situation than supporting bereaved staff & you have my absolute respect for doing something like that (not sure it's something I could do)”
I got this message from a friend of mine recently, which got me thinking.
It was lovely to have his respect, but I queried his belief that he is “not sure it’s something I could do”. The chances are that he, and you, and every manager will be called on to support bereaved staff at some point in your career. Quite possibly several times.
Because according to Cruse, the bereavement care charity, on any given day 1 in 10 of the UK workforce are actively affected by a bereavement.
The fact is that many people are like my friend who made this comment - excellent managers, with tremendous people skills, and yet understandably feeling challenged by the thought of supporting bereaved staff.
This is exactly why I offer the courses that I do. Not to turn managers into bereavement counsellors - there are many specialist providers better equipped to do this. But more importantly, to enable managers to feel comfortable in listening to their bereaved staff, understanding their needs, and providing an environment in which people who are grieving can be supported to return to full productivity with sensitivity.
Since grief can affect productivity for up to 2 years, and good support speeds up this process, it truly is a win-win solution, with a real business benefit.
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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A miscellany of articles and opinions on communication, leadership and management topics.