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The loss of a loved one is incredibly challenging. The difficulties of comprehending the loss can be completely overwhelming. Over time, these intense feelings of grief will often soften into a new normal, but it can be tough for employees to return to daily life without the correct workplace support.

Helping an employee grieve will be one of the hardest facets of your job as a leader. As well as navigating your team through the initial shock, coordinating their transition back into the workplace is a delicate task.

The following guide provides helpful advice and guidance on providing support during this difficult time, and how professional grief counselling in Perth can help.

 

What to Expect After a Loss

Regardless of whether the death was sudden or not, the initial shock will be overwhelming to those close to the deceased. As a leader, it’s important to recognise these feelings of trauma, and expect varying emotional reactions from people. 

From anger and frustration to avoidance and depressive states, every person will react to this devastating news differently. Be aware of these fluctuating emotions and recognise that it is common for people to appear overwhelmed, irritated, or exhausted after experiencing loss.

 

Helpful Tips For Supporting a Grieving Employee

The most supportive step you can take to ensure the wellbeing of a bereaved employee is to arrange professional grief and loss counselling in Perth. By providing them with a safe space to talk about their feelings, you can help prevent any long-term negative impacts on their mental health, which can often lead to high absenteeism and low productivity at work. 

Speak to the grieving employee and ask how best to support them. Being a leader means using emotional intelligence to navigate difficult times, so it’s always best to be sensitive to their needs. 

  • Let the employee know that you support them fully.
  • Give them space to process the crisis, removing any work pressures.
  • Quietly inform other employees and HR of the situation (without too much detail) and encourage their understanding.
  • Respect their privacy and never gossip, allow the employee the space to share the news if they wish.
  • Be prepared for varying emotional states, and express consistent patience and understanding.
  • Make minor or major adjustments to their workload where needed.
  • Be aware of any signs that they’re not coping well.
  • Offer professional grief counselling in Perth.

Key Adjustments You Can Make 

The best way to support your employee is to show that you care for them as a person, not just a staff member. This means making the necessary adjustments to their work life until they feel ready to return to normal.

Each case of loss is unique, so it’s always best to check with the bereaved and ask what you can do to help. Be proactive in seeking ways to support them and distribute their workload amongst other employees temporarily to relieve any additional work-related stress. The following points are important steps to consider.

Bereavement Leave

All companies should have an option for granting bereavement leave, as it gives people room to privately grieve. This is particularly applicable in cases of the death of a close family member such as a parent, spouse or child. 

Most people need an appropriate amount of time to process the loss before returning to work, as well as manage any organisational requirements such as arranging the funeral.

Patience and Understanding at Work

Just because someone has taken time off to grieve the death of a loved one, doesn’t mean they are completely recovered. It’s important to emphasise that they have your full, ongoing support, even after some time has passed. 

  • Arrange for expert grief counselling in Perth to aid their recovery over time.
  • Reiterate that you have an open-door policy.
  • A gradual return to work can be helpful, with part-time or working from home options to accommodate continued healing.
  • Ensure that they have help with their workload should they need it. 

How to Tell if Someone Isn’t Coping

After some time, many people begin to adjust to their new reality and feel ready to continue with work and daily life as usual. However, for some people, it takes longer to accept their loss.

In these cases, sadness can lead to depression, anxiety, or even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. If you notice any of the following signs of continued distress, it’s important to speak to the bereaved person gently and refer them to expert grief and loss counselling in Perth if needed. 

Signs they need additional help might include:

  • Absenteeism
  • Poor focus
  • Low productivity or work performance
  • Negative changes in behaviour
  • Withdrawing from social encounters

Supportive Grief Counselling in Perth

As long standing providers of professional, empathetic grief & loss counselling in Perth, Lifeskills Australia are trusted experts in helping you and your valued employees navigate the devastating death of a loved one. 

Contact us today to discuss grief counselling in Perth, or to book an EAP service for your workplace.

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