Loss of a co-worker

An employee took her own life a few weeks ago. Everyone was in total shock. There was no warning, yet many of us believe some clue could have been missed. The EAP was great, met with us, and offered guidance. Is there anything left for me to do these many days later?

The death of a co-worker is always a shock, and it’s worse when it is unexpected. “Grief leadership” describes the manager’s role or that of anyone who leads with organizing, communicating, memorializing the employee, interacting with the family, and dealing with logistics of the deceased ’s personal effects. Every employee is different in how he or she will manage grief, and none of it is predictable. Be direct, and let employees know you recognize this fact, and encourage them to use the EAP, at any time. Listen for complaints of sleeplessness, diminished appetite, and intrusive thoughts about the deceased. Allow some freedom for employees to gather and process the deceased when you see these groups spontaneously appear. No matter what, you are a role model for your employees. They are highly cognizant of how you act and respond to an incident of this nature. What you do and say will be remembered and will influence how they decide to cope with the loss.

Source: Chief Frank Reyna EPFD – Frontline Supervisor Well Connect January 2019 FrontLine Supervisor is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be specific guidance for any particular supervisor or human resource management concern. URLs are case-sensitive. For specific guidance on handling individual employee problems, consult with your EA professional. © 2019 DFA Publishing & Consulting, LLC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.