The 2nd of December sees the beginning of National Grief Awareness Week.

It’s difficult losing a loved one at any time of year. But at Christmas, those feelings have the potential to kick up a gear as a loved one’s absence is felt more.

As a business owner who values their employees’ good mental health and wellbeing, it’s important that you’re mindful of how grief can affect your employees in different ways both at Christmas and throughout the year.

Sometimes if you notice someone struggling, it can be as easy as having a private conversation to help them. Just knowing that someone is there and happy to listen can mean a lot. But in other cases, more help might be needed.

Make sure your employees know what help and support is available to them both within the business and from outside organisations. And if someone is really struggling, it may be worth finding out if compassionate leave or other time off might be appropriate.

If an employee is suffering with a new bereavement, offer your condolences and help with whatever you can. If your employee takes time off, make sure you stay in touch in the manner that best suits them. When it’s time for them to return, you will need to manage their expectations. Remember that grief can affect people in different ways, so when someone comes back, they may find it difficult to concentrate, they could be struggling with their mental health, and they could find socialising with colleagues more difficult than before.

Allow them to take their time and offer your support at every step of the way. Pushing employees too hard could lead to mental health problems and make your employee unwell.

It’s not easy dealing with grief and bereavement, but by making sure your employee knows you are there for them you can help reduce the impact on them and on the business.

If you’d like any further help or advice on bereavement and grief, please contact us or give us a call on 01386 751740.

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