Offering support and assistance to an employee who has suffered a loss in his or her family can be difficult because people often feel helpless about how to respond to the employee's loss. However, the bereaved employee will usually appreciate the offer of assistance and support from the workplace.
Managers and supervisors can be particularly helpful in communications with the employee by making sure that he or she understands and uses available bereavement leave benefits; conveying to co-workers information the employee wants communicated (e.g., time and place of memorial service), and assuring the employee that work is being handled. Managers can also help interested volunteers organize a system to provide meals, babysitting services, transportation, and other assistance to the bereaved employee. Most companies arrange for flowers to be sent, and many employers have a representative from the company attend the funeral or memorial service.