The death of a coworker is always going to be difficult whether you are close to that person or not. It’s not an easy situation to be in when a coworker dies but it does happen, and it is important that you know how to deal with it. If you have questions regarding what to do when a coworker day, this should tell you everything that you need to know to move forward while being as respectful as possible.
How to notify employees of a coworker’s death?
It is always best to notify employees of a coworker’s death all together in a formal but compassionate way. If you spread the news by word of mouth, things could start to get mixed up and this is where possible rumors could start- which is the opposite of respectful at a time like this. It is important to notify employees as soon as possible to help prevent this and the best way would be through email. This death announcement will reach all staff at the same time, and it is a much better option than anything else at this difficult time. Before coworkers are informed, it is obviously important that the coworkers next of kin and family and notified about the death first.
When a coworker dies, should I attend the funeral?
You might be wondering if you should attend the funeral when a coworker dies and that depends on a couple of different things that you need to think about. You are probably going to want to go to the funeral, especially if you were close to that coworker and even if you were not that close but just want to pay your respects. It is important to find out details of the funeral and what the family wants to figure out what to do in this situation. If it is a private service that is only for family and friends, obviously you should not attend but if it is for all those known to the person, you can attend and should if you feel like you want to.
You can usually find out the information about a funeral in an obituary or you could also contact the family. If you do contact them directly, make sure that you are the only one from the company doing it (or appoint someone else) because the last thing they want is to be bombarded with phone calls at this time. Regarding the funeral, most places of employment (especially if it is a smaller company) will close for the day to allow the workers to attend if they want to.
Appropriate etiquette for dealing with the death of a coworker
Some people feel a lot of anxiety about knowing what to do when a coworker dies and the appropriate etiquette in this kind of situation. It can be especially difficult if you only saw them as a coworker and not a friend, because what is the best way to act at this moment in time? First, it is important that you acknowledge the death and as mentioned previously, employees need to be notified about what has happened as soon as possible. Employees need to be reminded to stay respectful at this time and everybody needs to be given the proper time and space to grieve in the way that is right for there. There is not a certain “etiquette” per say to follow when a coworker dies, it is just about being respectful to the situation and the people that you are working with.
Coping with the death of a coworker
No two people are the same, and everybody deals with death differently. This applies to the death of a family, friend, or even a coworker. When you see somebody day in and day out at work, it can be very shocking when they pass away, and you might be struggling to deal with it! The most important thing to do is to realize that grief is a complicated process, give yourself time and give everyone around you time. You don’t know how close certain members of staff might have been to the person in question. When somebody dies, it isn’t forgotten overnight and there will always be things that remind you of them. After some time has passed, it’s important that morale does not suffer because of this sad loss, help bring up the team again, and just go from there!
What to do when an employee dies at work?
A coworker dying at work is probably the most difficult thing that you can imagine but sadly, it does happen. Counseling should be offered if a particularly traumatic event happened at the workplace causing a coworker to die and this is important to think about. If you yourself need time off to grieve, then take it and allow those that have been the most affected the luxury of taking time off too. Read more about bereavement leave in this post. There are certain protocols that need to be done including sending well wishes to the next of kin and during that time, you can also enquire about the funeral. It is important that the employee’s wages are paid up until the point that they passed away and this would usually be paid into their regular bank account. The legalities of these wages going forward would obviously be left up to the to distribute in something like a will reading when the time is right.
No matter what the situation is, it is important that you are as respectful as possible when a coworker dies, no matter how well you knew them or liked them. Hopefully, this article has helped you if you are in this type of situation right now because it isn’t easy to deal with. It is vital that you follow the correct steps in terms of the legalities but even more important than that is that you are compassionate through every stage of the process.
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