Employee Sympathy Gifts For Loss

Ideas for Memorial Gifts that Show You Care

Employee Sympathy Gifts

Michelle lost her sister. It was expected. This doesn’t make it any easier to cope with. She tries to stay focused at work, but doesn’t always succeed. Her manager reaches out with a comforting message, to let her know the company is here for her. Michelle has a long journey ahead … but she knows she’s not alone.

Death, and subsequent grief, are the hardest life events to talk about. Still, they are among the most important for any employee. This is an important opportunity for employee engagement, albeit a difficult one.

An employee sympathy gift can have huge impact, an employee recognition touch that will be noticed by others. Just as grief is very individual, there’s no one-size-fits-all for ideas for memorial gifts. Doing something, though, is better than nothing. Need more guidance? Our free e-book, “You and Your Grieving Co-Worker,” offers a roadmap for navigating this difficult time.

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 face a difficult task responding to a tragedy in an employee’s life. You might wonder how to respond. You want to be there for them, while not getting too close. An appropriate balance exists.

Attend the Funeral

If you can, attend the funeral. This might be impossible if the funeral isn’t local. Yet, the simple act of showing up makes an enormous impact, and provides more comfort than you might believe. Assuming the employee won’t object, you can also send out the funeral details to the staff. An employee’s colleagues can have the same impact.

Bring a Sympathy Gift

Whether you attend the funeral or not, recognize the loss with an employee sympathy gift. Flowers are the safe and common response. Thing is, flowers wilt and die … a pretty morose way to recognize the passing of a loved one. You want your idea for a memorial gift to be recognized as coming from the company – and you want it to last. Keepsake gifts become their own memorial for the person an employee has lost … and an ongoing reminder of your company’s response when they needed it most. A unique employee sympathy gift can represent the best form of employee engagement.

Express Your Sympathy

First, acknowledge the situation. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. You can say “I was/We were so sorry to hear about your family’s loss.” Make these condolences as specific as possible – if an employee lost their mother, use her name. Doing so demonstrates that the company understands the relationship between the employee and the deceased.

Secondly, express your concern. You don’t have to be eloquent – just genuine. “I cannot possibly understand how you are feeling. However, we want you to know that we care about you and your family, and are here for you” suffices just fine.

Let the employee know that personal time off to make arrangements is at their disposal. Emphasize their family must come first. Be sure they know that the company is behind them during this time. Extending employee recognition to their family builds loyalty, especially at a challenging time for all.