Grief is an undeniable part of the human experience, one that inevitably spills over into our professional lives. At Connected Health, we recognize the significance of identifying, understanding, and supporting employees who may be navigating the complexities of grief. As a homecare company, it is crucial for us to establish protocols that support the management of grief in the workplace, given that our employees frequently navigate sensitive situations. In this guide, we explore how to discern signs of grief, offer diverse pathways for support, and acknowledge the broader impacts on our workforce.
Recognising Employee Difficulties:
Within the Connected Health family, identifying employees experiencing grief requires a blend of empathy and observation. Some key indicators include:
- Behavioural Shifts: Noticeable changes in behaviour such as diminished productivity, or withdrawal from team interactions.
- Emotional Responses: Instances of heightened emotions, including anger, tearfulness, or mood fluctuations that differ from the individual’s usual temperament.
- Physical Manifestations: Complaints of fatigue, changes in appetite or other physical manifestations reflecting underlying stress.
- Work Quality Deterioration: Observable declines in work quality, missed deadlines, or difficulty concentrating.
Supporting Our Employees:
At Connected Health, fostering a culture of support begins with genuine, empathetic communication. Here’s how we extend support to our employees navigating grief:
- Open Channels of Communication: Encourage transparent dialogue where employees feel safe to express their emotions and seek support without fear of judgment.
- Flexibility in Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work options or compassionate leave to accommodate personal matters related to grief.
- Counselling: Provide access to confidential counselling services and resources, offering personalized support tailored to individual needs.
- Managerial Training: Equip our all our managers with the necessary training to recognise signs of grief, engage in sensitive conversations, and provide empathetic support to their team members.
Pathways for Support:
Recognising that each employee’s journey through grief is unique, we offer diverse pathways for support, including:
- Professional Counselling Services: Refer employees to accredited therapists or counsellors specialising in grief counselling, empowering them with the tools and support needed to navigate their grief.
- Support Communities: Connect employees with external support groups or services focused on grief and bereavement, fostering a sense of community and shared understanding.
- Self-Care Resources: Provide access to self-help materials, online resources, or mindfulness app suggestions, empowering employees to engage in self-care practices outside of the workplace.
Understanding Workplace Impacts:
We acknowledge that the effects of grief extend beyond the individual, influencing the dynamics and productivity of our workforce. Some notable impacts include:
- Diminished Morale: Witnessing a colleague’s grief may evoke feelings of empathy, sadness, or helplessness among team members, potentially impacting overall morale and motivation.
- Disrupted Workflow: Grieving employees may struggle to maintain focus, meet deadlines, or collaborate effectively, leading to disruptions in workflow.
- Elevated Stress Levels: The emotional toll of grief can contribute to heightened stress levels among employees, affecting their ability to perform optimally and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
At Connected Health, we are committed to fostering a workplace culture that embraces compassion, resilience, and support. By recognising signs of grief, extending empathetic support, offering diverse pathways for support, and acknowledging the broader impacts on our workforce, we create an environment where employees can feel valued, understood, and empowered to navigate life’s inevitable challenges.