The workplace is where you spend an estimated one-third of your life. The interaction with co-workers, and your employer, is mutually respectful. Your employee relationships are predicated on good communication. You are a team, with a mutually shared strategy for company goals. This environment offers your employees an equitable amount of inclusion, appreciation, pay, vacation time, and incentive plans. It is an integral part of a working identity in life.
This is all good, until it isn’t for one member of the team.
Loss, Grief, and the Human Experience in the Workplace Culture
When a co-worker, your teammate in all things work-related, suffers a profound loss and is immersed in the grieving process, only a few days are offered in time-off policies. Soon the bereaved employee will return to what feels like extended family. This is a critical opportunity for you to further humanize your workplace and demonstrate deeply felt empathy.
It is the pivotal time to show emotional support, and a sense of community, not just the place where dollars are earned. Grief takes a great toll on the spirit. Acts of kindness help the mourner heal.
It is a truism that people are touched by simple gestures. Grief can build a wall around the mourner. Empathy can tear it down. It is a “giving time”. You are caring but clueless. What gift will showcase your concern, and heartfelt support? The following is a curated list of appropriate sympathy gifts. Hopefully, you will find inspiration, herein, to offer comfort at this critical moment in life.
The list includes:
- Sympathy Gift Baskets – A sympathy gift basket offers healing and hope for the recipient. In fact, just the presentation of sympathy gift baskets are a sign of the connection you feel to your co-worker, employee, and friend. It will be a keepsake in the home for a long time to come. A grand sympathy gourmet basket offers nutritious sustenance, with a sweet and savory mix of:
- Chocolate Pecan Caramels
- Butter Toffee Mixed Nuts
- Assorted Fruit Flashers
- Crème Brulee Trail Mix
- Hazelnut Filled Puff Pastry
- Chocolate Chip Cappuccino Cookies
- French Apple Crisps
- Pirouline Hazelnut Wafer Rolls
- Laurieri Italian Olive Twists
- Honey Mustard Pretzel Twists
- Crème Filled Puff Pastry
- Chocolate Amaretto Almonds
Sending a beautiful basket of delicious edibles, hopefully, will offer moments of calming diversion. These are comfort treats, energizing and soul soothing. Adding a personalized note of heartfelt, care and concern, will let the recipient feel valued and appreciated.
- Memorial Garden Stone – To honor the memory of the person who has passed away, a garden stone, inscribed with an endearing message, gives lasting comfort to the recipient. It is made of concrete, to be sustainable in every weather condition. It is an enduring remembrance, that can be placed in any green space, or held in a table-top easel, for perusal during this difficult time, and will be greatly appreciated.
Add a note card from the company, and co-workers, in a display of workplace community support.
- Make a Donation – Making a donation to the memorial fund of a non-profit charity, chosen by the employee, and posted in the obituary, or obtained from the funeral home, will honor this grievous event.
The donation should be made in the name of the deceased person, and given by your company, and the co-workers of the recipient. This gift adds to the lives of others and will be uplifting for your employee.
- Offer One of Your Paid-Time-Off Days – Companies are not able to offer many time off days, when a loss occurs. If you know that the griever needs more time, co-workers could offer one of their PTO’s, if allowed. This way the recipient can lose less pay, while having more hours to adjust to this life altering occurrence.
- Choose a Gift Card – The 21st Century Sympathy Card – Sending a grieving employee a gift card, rather than delivering a homemade meal, today, when people, in great numbers, are using meal delivery apps, is the thoughtful, and safe, way to show kindness and concern. The last thing the recipient is thinking of, is cooking food. The need for sustenance is great, and an Uber Eats, or other food delivery card, will provide nutrition without worrying about cost, or food preparation. Remember to be abundant, as groceries can be bought, or favorite foods ordered, to encapsulate several days of nourishment.
This thoughtfulness is needed, and deserved, by your loyal employee. Add a note of support from the company/team. There is no better gift than to feed the recipient’s stomach and soul.
The Gift of Giving
An employee sympathy gift that has been given from the company, to memorialize the person an employee has lost, deepens the bond that has been created through mutual effort, over time. It is communication through action, during one of life’s most difficult events.
If possible, when the griever has to travel for funeral services, offering more time for bereavement, and a flexible schedule demonstrates the value that is placed on those who work for a company. It further cements that you value commitment and a stellar work ethic. Other employees will note this generosity, as excellence in employer/employee relations.