Dealing with employee loss and grief plays a central role in workplace wellbeing. This role has become even more important because of the pandemic. Loss may be experienced by the employee themselves, including death of a loved one or of extended family members and friends. Loss can also relate to other factors such as divorce, family crisis, or the death of a beloved pet. As well, it can relate to caregiver stress and burnout.
Grief is frequently connected to loss and we recognize that there are employees who are working and also grieving. Often, we do not know how to talk to someone who is grieving – what should I say, if anything?
Studies show that grieving employees who are not supported at work lost an average of 30 work days a year. Research indicates that 1 in 4 people are grieving at work right now, and the death of one person has an impact on at least five other individuals. The impact of the pandemic will continue to have a long-term impact on work environments – on mental health, workplace wellness and work-life balance.