Coaching for Workplace Grief

When a loss occurs in the workplace, it is vital for the business to address it. Whether the CEO or a new employee dies, the ripple effect of the loss can be detrimental not only to the business itself but also to the employees and customers, and I step in to help minimize that effect.

I have been hired to step in to help in a few situations where a beloved employee has died tragically. Initially, I take these steps:

  1. I meet with the business owner/manager/CEO and we develop a plan to work with the employees not only on grief but on growing an office culture of acceptance, interdependence, and openness. I explain the importance of dealing with grief in a healthy manner, and I ask permission for the employees to contact me any time they feel they need to.  We develop a plan to assure them that their jobs are secure and that they can have a little time off if they need it.
  2. I meet with all the employees together in the same room (depending on the size of the business) and ask them to tell me their feelings. We talk about how important this person was to them, what he meant to them, and how knowing him affected their lives both at work and outside of work. I began to develop a relationship of trust with them, assuring them of confidentiality.
  3. I continue to check in with them, especially those who knew him best, and meet individually with them periodically over several weeks until they are in a good place with their grief.

Over a period of approximately 4-6 weeks, I am available for the business when needed and then I suggest that they consider going through the six-week Mental Fitness program to strengthen their ties and to create a healthy working environment.

When they complete the six week program, the business may benefit from hiring a coaching colleague who focuses primarily on business coaching, or they may want to continue with me.