Leaders of businesses and non-profit organizations have been called so often in the last year to don so many different hats: impromptu strategist, therapist, fortune teller, pinch hitter for human resources, diplomat, and this is to say nothing of trying to stay profitable and open for business.
All this was done while perhaps juggling a home life and a household trying to nurture and protect its members, all gathered around a kitchen table, learning and working.
It’s been challenging.
And we know it’s sometimes challenging to know how to show up: there is an urge to appear upbeat and positive to set a good tone, but how is your team really doing? Maybe they can benefit from you showing up with a little more compassion.
The truth of it is: employees don’t leave jobs, they leave employers.
One of the benefits afforded us during COVID-19 was to see the many gaps and overlaps of compassion in the companies we work with and for, as well as the businesses we support. We have seen businesses step up and “pivot” well, and we have seen them fail dismally, too.
And we aren’t just talking about the pandemic, here, we are talking about the events of life — divorce, fertility and family issues, caregiver concerns as aging parents require new support, we’ve seen all of it amplified in the last year, but grief is here to stay.
We know that, from a business perspective, it can seem counterintuitive to offer compassion and space to someone who is struggling in their personal life, but it’s not. We can show you how allowing for grief to live among your team, actually allows for a stronger bottom line and an increase in employee retention.
Here at C&C Resources for Life, we have expanded our offerings to the business and non-profit community of BC. We have always offered critical incident support for traumatic events in workspaces, and now we are proud to introduce Grief @ Work, a three-pronged offering to support the now-ever-present grief and trauma in the places we work.
Our 3 pronged approach:
Growing leaders who understand and can speak fluently in grief. This looks a little like Business Consulting, but it’s more. We work with leaders to identify sources and causes of grief, work through the barriers to leading with compassion, and equip them with tools to build a culture that supports the humans on their teams.
Supporting business leaders to build what we call a Positive Grief Culture that protects the company's bottom line and its human resources. A conscious grief culture supports the mental well-being of staff and the ongoing grief events that take them away from what they are doing (impacting work, safety, productivity, morale, etc) and empowers the entire organization to recognize grief and address it in a proactive way so that all the individuals in it can opt in to caring for their own mental health.
Providing retainer-based support by a team of counsellors for as-needed support for staff. It’s essentially an Employee Assistance Program designed specifically for grief. Companies front load some sessions with us, and the team is free to self-identify a need for support, contact us in confidence, and the result is that businesses continue to function alongside a grief event, like a divorce or a concern at home that is causing difficulty.
This initiative is led by our associate and consultant, Tara Caffelle, who brings a wide range of skills to her work with individuals and teams in her career of more than 13 years supporting individuals, relationships, companies and those experiencing a grief event. In addition to supporting her individual clients, Tara is involved in community outreach and offers free Lunch n' Learn sessions, as well as need assessments for businesses all over BC.
In addition to this new approach, we have always offered:
Critical Incident Debriefing for when a traumatic event like a death among the staff or a tragedy befalls an organization. It is important to address the event in the first 48 hours after it occurs; we can be onsite to support the aftermath of tragedy and identify next steps for the well- being of all involved.
Group Workshops to specifically address workplace grief issues. These workshops are for small groups and serve as an extension to Critical Incident Debriefing in the weeks that follow. It gives an affordable way to meet in community and work through a traumatic event.
Individualized mental health support: we have a team of counsellors, all trauma and grief informed in their practices, who can support all manner of individual concerns with varying disciplines to address relationships, addiction, trauma, communication and overall well-being. We are a collaborative practice and often utilize the skills of many therapists in order to be of highest service to our clients.
Lunch n’ Learn seminars (online or in person) to address ongoing mental health concerns. This is another affordable way to educate staff and offer steps in building a Positive Grief Culture.