Coping with a workplace death

Any owner who has the unfortunate experience of coping with a workplace death will tell you that it’s an experience they don’t want to go through again.

A workplace death is something that is often not thought about until it happens. Not only does the owner or chief executive have to deal with their staff they need to deal with their own emotions while maintaining focus on the business and it’s daily activities.

The feelings and emotions of shock and grief of a workplace death reverberates quickly through the organisation as staff come to terms with the shocking news and immediately start reflecting on the loss of a colleague and in many cases a friend.

Following the initial sense of shock, then other emotions come into play with different staff, feelings of anger, sadness, possibly guilt. Coping with a workplace death and dealing with emotions through these difficult times will also put pressure on managers and Directors to maintain business performance while providing emotional support to those that need it.

Business doesn’t stop; day to day pressures still continue, however, the clarity of thought diminishes as the grieving process takes place which will be different to each staff member in many ways.

It takes time to process a workplace death and it takes time to gather thoughts to handle the situation professionally yet sensitively.

A death in the workplace will affect the business in several ways. Dealing with the initial news will no doubt bring shock to the workforce, including the owners. The following days and possibly weeks will then deal with the emotions of grief including anger, sadness and possibly guilt. Then there will be those who need further support who have trouble with coping and may develop their own strategies to deal with a situation like this for example they may turn to alcohol or drugs.

Dealing with staff members in helping them deal with a situation like this in different ways takes time and will be emotionally draining and may have an impact on that person’s health and well-being.

You may also have to re-schedule meetings, re-allocate workloads, give some staff time off work to deal with grief.

Death in the workplace can have a huge impact and above all takes time to come to terms with.

NECS Works have professionals that can help alleviate this pressure and provide emotional support to owners, staff and others involved to deal with the loss. We have a crisis intervention service that will provide empathy and focused solutions to help cope with a situation such as a workplace death.

Call us for a free consultation.