good life, good death, good grief

Scottish Bereavement Friendly Workplaces Toolkit

Caring for staff

How do I talk to bereaved people?

Some of the worst experiences reported by bereaved people in the workplace result from them feeling ignored or avoided by colleagues because of their bereavement. It is often fear of saying something inappropriate or insensitive that holds people back. While that does happen, and insensitivity can be damaging, fear of it can make a situation worse. It is often better to say something simple in acknowledgement of a loss than to say nothing at all.

The guides below offer some simple advice on how to speak to bereaved people:

Bridging the Gap: Talking to bereaved people - a rough guide [pdf] (Cruse Bereavement Care)
Employer do’s and don’ts [website] (Cruse Bereavement Care)

What do managers and HR staff need to know?

If you're in a position where you are likely to be dealing with bereavement from a management and HR perspective, it is worth being well equipped with information to deal with a range of eventualities, so that you can respond to questions that your employees may have. Good Life Good Death Good Grief have our own range of leaflets that deal with various circumstances relating to death, dying and bereavement. You could look at the Support After A Death section of our site too. Cruse Bereavement Care also produce a toolkit to help employers:

Employer's Bereavement Toolkit [A5 hard copies, £15.95] (Cruse Bereavement Care)

Is there any training or other support?

Those who would like to build confidence and knowledge for people who are bereaved may like to consider specific training, especially if they are in a role such as HR, with a responsibility for a large number of staff. St Catherine's Hospice offer a short online tutorial or for more in-depth, Cruse Bereavement Care offer training and consultancy.

St Catherine’s Hospice & UNUM Bereavement Workshop [website]
Cruse training and consultancy [website]

(Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)
Text size:AAA