Steps To Take When Losing A Co-Worker

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Once your business grows to say, fifty or a hundred people, the chance that somebody within the company will pass away goes up exponentially. It’s a statistical reality. For that reason, it pays to be prepared for losing a coworker. But if the worst were to happen, what should you do? Here’s a rundown. 

Tell Your Colleagues Quickly

If a co-worker dies, the first thing that you should do is promptly inform your colleagues. Some will already know about the death if there were health issues, but many won’t. And, on some occasions, the death is completely unexpected, as is the case for car accidents and airplane crashes.

When making the announcement, keep it brief. Talk about what happened and then discuss which services will be affected and for how long. Once you make the announcement, it is then up to your colleagues to determine how they will respond to the news. 

Time Your Tribute

It can take colleagues a little bit of time to respond to the shock of losing a coworker suddenly. In which case, it is a good idea to time your tribute so that it coincides with workers having enough time to process what’s happened. Getting over a sudden colleague’s death due to a heart attack or accident can take many people a couple of weeks, so any tribute should be held after that initial period. If the death was violent, then you may need to wait a little longer. You may also want to provide counsellors and support services to help colleagues get through the most challenging stages of bereavement. 

Create A Tribute

As a company, there are many ways that you can create a tribute to the person who passed away. For instance, you could make a donation for cemetery grave markers on behalf of your organization. Or you could host a special luncheon in memory of their services to the company. 

Try, if you can, to make the tribute unique. Talk about your co-worker’s individual contribution and the special way that they contributed to the life of the firm. 

Plan A Service

In some companies, you may also want to plan a service, particularly if people have been working in a tight-knit group for a long period of time. Tributes can offer colleagues reassurance. 

The best approach here is to allow the friends and relatives of the deceased to organize the event. You can then supply colleagues, knowledge and perhaps even money to help make it a reality. 

Get Out Of The Office

You might also want to get people out of the office and into nature to celebrate the life of the person who passed away. For example, if your coworker was a fan of the mountains, then you might want to go for a hike. You could also do things like rent a cabin for a weekend or take a bus tour of a part of the country that they liked. 
In summary, losing a co-worker is something that will likely happen as your business grows. So it’s a good idea to be prepared for it ahead of time.

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