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Employee Sympathy Gifts For Loss

Employee Sympathy Gifts

Employee Sympathy Gifts

Michelle lost her sister. It was expected but for some reason that didn’t make it any easier to cope with. She remembers her in so many ways and tries to stay focused at work but can’t sometimes. Her manager reaches out with a comforting message, letting her know that the company is here for her if she needs anything. Michelle has a long journey to travel but now she knows she’s not alone.

While this is the hardest life event to talk about, it is the most important for an employee. Sure, there is no one size fits all for an employee sympathy gift, but this is the single most important opportunity that you will have to impact an employee. Grief is a mystery to us all, so it naturally catches us off guard. People have a hard time making sense out of loss. Although grief is unique to the individual, we have noticed some common denominators.

An HR Guide to Addressing Employee Grief

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An HR Guide to Addressing Employee Grief

Tips for Bereavement at Work

As an employer, you are faced with a difficult task when responding to the news of a tragedy in your employee’s life. You may ask yourself, “what is the appropriate response of an employer in this situation?” Obviously you want to be there for them, but you may be worried about getting too close. There is an appropriate balance to strike.

Attend the Funeral

If you can, you should attend the funeral. Obviously, sometimes this is impossible if the funeral isn’t local but the simple act of showing up, makes an enormous impact and provides more comfort than you would believe. In this effort, assuming the employee has no issue with it, you can also send out the details of the funeral to the staff. This gives the employee’s colleagues a chance to make that same impact.

Bring a Sympathy Gift

Whether you can attend the funeral or not, don’t forget to recognize the loss with a sympathy gift. The safe and common response is flowers. The thing about flowers is that they wilt and die, which is a pretty morose way to recognize the passing of a loved one. You want your gift to be from the company and you want it to be lasting. Lasting keepsake gifts will become their own memorial for the person they lost and be a constant, ongoing reminder of your company’s response when they needed it most.

Express Your Sympathy

First, a company should acknowledge the situation. Do not ignore it and pretend like it didn’t happen. You can say something like “I was/We were so sorry to hear about your family’s loss.” Make this extension of condolences be as specific as possible. If they lost their mother, try to use her name, this shows that the company understands the relationship between deceased and the employee.
Secondly, express your concern and be genuine. You can say something like this “I cannot possibly understand how you are feeling. However, we want you to know that we care about you and your family, and we are here for you.”
Let them know that personal time off to make arrangements is at their disposal and emphasize that family must often come first. Just make sure they know that the company is behind them during this time.