Depending on your work environment, loss and your experience of grief may not be something you can easily discuss. In a recent book I wrote on this concept, it’s important for managers, supervisors, and colleagues to be aware how the experience of loss and the response of grief may affect employee behavior. Oftentimes, it’s easy to blame erratic or inconsistent behaviors on character imperfections or principles. Yet, when we as humans lose something of value, something we held with deep regard and have a deep attachment, there is a significant response experienced as a consequence to that loss. In my book Grief and Loss in the Workplace (published through Get to the Point Books, click here), I explore more about this concept and also what you can do to assist employees who may be going through this experience. Loss may be something personal or it may be something experienced at the worksite (the loss of a colleague). While we are a culture that embodies the value of independence, we are a species yearning for belonging and connection. So when it comes to the experience of loss, the sense of being connected and a part of something (rather than a part from everything) may be important for healing. Yet sometimes, people just don’t know what to do. Some individuals don’t know how to deal with loss and grief.
There are two main thoughts to consider when approaching a colleague or employee whom you believe is experiencing loss (or you know is). First, let the person know you are there for support. Acknowledge that this may be a rough time for the person and you recognize it. Second, consider exploring how to help the individual ease back into the workplace setting. There are many options for this and exploring these will be effective for you as the supervisor /manager and for your employee. For more information about grief and loss in the workplace, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my book here.