Jeff speaks with Nancy Loeffler of Being With Grief about how to deal with and respond to the loss of a coworker in the workplace. Nancy provides the following advice…
Get Some Support.
A manager or owner should call someone in who knows what resources to provide. Some time should be set aside for the employees to consider how they feel about the loss. Gather the coworkers together and ask them if they want to have some sort of memorial service to remember their coworker and talk with them about ways that would prove helpful in processing their grief.
Grief is normal and experienced differently.
Grief is made up of very different feelings. When in the throes of it, a person may not know or understand what those feelings are and can experience different intensities of feelings at different times. Helping a coworker understand that these feelings are normal and that everyone grieves in his or her own way can be very helpful to anyone going through the process.
How to Be a Supportive Coworker.
If another coworker is really taking it hard, ask them what they need, then give them space and time to do it. Do not suggest that they need to move on and get past it. Any time we don’t process it fully, grief may come back, only this time in a different form. Allow them the time and things they need to do to process the grief. And keep checking back with them.
Just listen. Just let that person talk or not talk. Accept where they are at in the process. Often people are not comfortable with grief or the feelings that may arise. The grief process is a spiral, not linear. One day a person may find himself o.k. and the next day be diving back into the intensity of the feelings.
If you would like to speak with Nancy, please contact her at (919) 500-3848 or www.BeingWithGrief.com.