How does your workplace address the death of an employee? Death strikes--during this pandemic; on 9/11 twenty years ago. advises announcing news like the death of a coworker and doing so in a direct but sensitive manner.

The advice is not always followed. A new hire learned only through the grapevine that a mentor had died. "It was really weird. No notice, no nothing, as if that person had never existed. It makes me wonder if it matters that I work here, am I valued? And, I suddenly have no trusted go-to person to help me navigate this place.”

Six suggested employer steps:

1. Ask the family what information, if any, they wish to be shared.

2. Send out notice or hold a formal employee gathering.

3. Offer a private space to talk and grieve, especially important for close associates of the deceased.

4. Hold a memorial service or permit workers to attend a funeral.

5. Offer support services.

6. Be a calm example of productivity with sensitivity, including creating new employee linkages, as needed.

Related topics, e.g., bereavement etiquette for the workplace and additional sources cited therein.

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