After a loss, employees carry huge emotional and logistical burdens, impacting their work and their workplaces. On average, settling a loved one’s affairs takes 13 months and costs more than $12,000. Something has to give, and often it’s work performance.
Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Megan Harmeyer, Senior Manager of Business Development, and Kyle Daquanna, Director of Business Development, at Empathy. In this Meet A Vendor webinar, they dove into the experience of loss from an employee’s perspective. They shared how a comprehensive policy is critical for employee well-being, helping them bring their whole selves back to work and create a culture of care across the entire organization.
Empathy is a support platform that holistically treats the whole person as they deal with the challenges of loss. Empathy has developed a best-in-class solution that meets the bereaved where they are and addresses them as unique individuals. By saving employees time and money and reducing their stress around loss, Empathy helps employers increase the productivity and morale of their workforce.
THE BURDEN OF LOSS
The 2022 Cost of Dying report showed how much time and energy families spent dealing with the death of a loved one and the burden it placed on them. The results revealed a crisis of attention, time, and energy.
- $7,267 – The average cost of a funeral, up by 8% in the last five years
- $5,846 – The average sum paid to professionals, such as lawyers, financial advisors, and realtors.
- 79% – Of respondents reported using funds from their own checking or savings accounts to cover expenses.
BEREAVEMENT MUST BE ADDRESSED
Loss can be confusing and overwhelming. Recent studies have shown that when employees experience bereavement, their employers are significantly affected by reduced productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism.
- 52% of employees said dealing with loss harmed their work performance
- 31% of bereaved employees said they found it hard to focus at work
- 9.4% of bereaved employees felt that the situation harmed their job security
- 7.1% of bereaved employees said their reputation at work declined
- 1:9 for each employee dealing with loss, 9 others also face performance and productivity implications.
Bereavement leave is not enough. Today’s employees want a workplace and benefits supporting their physical, mental, financial, and professional needs through even the most challenging life events.
HOW TO SUPPORT GRIEVING EMPLOYEES
Traumatic loss powerfully and suddenly disrupts every aspect of the directly affected employee’s life—which can lead to ripple effects throughout the entire organization. Putting some strategy behind bereavement support can ease employees’ burden and help teams focus on their work.
When thinking about how to support their employees, employers should consider three tiers of support:
- The first tier is Time and Pay – your company’s bereavement policy
- The second tier, Sympathy, and Condolences includes sending flowers, condolences, home visits, and email etiquette for notifying the company and communicating with the employee.
- The third tier, which is often overlooked, is Empathy and Action. Employees need more than just the basic support in such a challenging moment in their life. They are dealing with so many practical arrangements, and getting tangible support from their employer is key.
For example: Funeral planning, grief counseling, self-care assistance, extended family support, estate administration, guidance on legal issues, and on-demand support.
Losing a loved one is hard enough. Empathy’s comprehensive, personalized bereavement solution is built to help employees with grief, logistics, and the many challenges that loss can bring. Reach out to Empathy if you are looking for a solution to guide and support your employees through the most difficult days, weeks, and months of their lives.
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