Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement said “how people die remains in the memory of those who live on”. This does not just relate to someone’s last moments, but from the point of potential terminal diagnosis and beyond, into grief for those left behind.
Employers hold a unique position in someone’s life. How line managers respond when someone at work is diagnosed with a possibly terminal illness or if they are faced with a bereavement is critical to an employee’s wellbeing during these difficult times.
Often line managers have not received any additional training and rely on policies and procedures that are concerned with standardisation and precedent rather than the individuality and flexibility required. Colleagues might not know what to say to someone who is facing these sorts of challenges resulting in increased isolation at work.
There is no doubt that handling these sensitive situations with compassion and flexibility can improve organisational wellbeing, morale and retention.
Employers are able to make significant differences to the memories of those who live on, not just by having modern compassionate leave policies, but also culturally ensuring that colleagues of those who are ill or grieving are confident in their role as part of someone’s natural support network.
A Compassionate Company is one that creates the environment and organisational culture to support their line managers and their employees. In addition to being part of a compassionate communities both internally and externally within their locality.
The charity Compassionate Communities UK is interested in exploring the lived experience of employees and employers on issues relating to working with a serious illness and/or whilst grieving. To share your experience please click this survey link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QCZ38YN
The survey is anonymous, although there is an option to be contacted if you want to share your experience of being an employer or an employee in more detail.
The results of the survey will be discussed at an Employers Conference taking place in February, for further information please click here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/222635387437
To find out more about Compassionate Communities UK, please click here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/222635387437
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