18 Ways How To Handle The Fatal Passing of An Employee or Colleague

The following 18 ways should be noted when one is working through how to handle the fatal passing of an employee or colleague

1. If the death occurred while they were working or on company premises, immediately alert law enforcement and the coroners office
2. Inform your staff as soon as possible on the passing of their colleague
3. Be gentle, delicate, professional in communicating that an employee has passed away (now is not the time for bulletin style announcements)
4. Bring in mental health professionals or crisis managers to support the staff that remains
5. Allow the family the respect of the option to come and collect and box up the belongings of the deceased from his or her desk, office, or workspace
6. Send condolences (cards, flower arrangements) to the next of kin
7. Get permission from the family about sending flowers and cards. Ask them for the address for where these items should be sent
8. Have a respectable moment of silence
9. Provide longer term company sponsored grief counseling for remaining employees especially those who worked closest to the deceased
10. If the person who died also had family members working at your company, be respectful of that person. Support them in a unique way.
11. Don’t gossip or bad mouth the deceased and don’t allow employees to engage in such nonsense either
12. Allow employees to take a break or time off (i.e. the rest of the workday) upon learning of the employee’s passing
13. With the permission of the family it may be okay to collect donations or start a memorial fund in honor of the employee who died
14. Allow employees to take time off to attend the funeral or repass
15. It’s okay to fly a flag half stance especially in the case of a veteran or soldier
16. Provide the next of kin with instructions or details on how to make insurance claims, receive final remuneration, and to cash out the 401K, 403B or other type of retirement accounts held by their deceased loved one
17. Transition responsibilities
18. Alert key external clients or customers of a change in personnel

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