Support for Grieving Employees

In the past year at FBG, some of our employees experienced the loss of family members and we realized that providing a few days of bereavement leave wasn’t adequate. Grieving is more than attending a service to memorialize someone dear to our hearts, and there are many facets to grief that have no timetable as an employee moves forward.

According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 83% of companies offer bereavement leave, and 95% of those companies provide 5 or less days when an employee loses an immediate family member. Our former policy was in line with these statistics, but we’ve since updated it to increase the amount of time off when an employee loses a spouse, sibling, parent or child.

In her book Option B, Sheryl Sandberg shares the very personal story of her husband’s unexpected death. This enlightening read examine’s the process of moving forward with resilience after tragedy strikes. In what time frame we do this depends greatly on the impact of that loss and the community of support available. None of us is immune, and we should not wait until a loss occurs to consider the importance of additional time off and/or resources such as a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to support employees when they need it most.

Death will impact each employee in your workplace. Providing them with ample time off and resources to support them through difficult periods can be a beacon of light in a dark time. It is a foundational way to demonstrate compassion to your employees when they need it most.