Grief at the workplace has become more apparent. In addition to seeing things like violence and protests, companies now are having to contend with mask mandates and vaccination rules that can affect a company by infecting their workforce via paycheck, personal space, and health concerns. These and other factors put companies in the cross hairs of further declines in profit, while simultaneously seeing a spike in missed goals, missed profitability targets, workplace distress, and consequently grief as a result.
The Grief Recovery Institute has created a manual that addresses the cost of grief on a company. It is called The Grief Index. It is Literally equating loss and grief to a cost factor that many in business can better understand. This undertaking was started back in 2002 and was documented in The Wall Street Journal and later again in 2003, when The Chicago Tribune published an article about the Grief Recovery Index and how it’s goal is to quantify grief.
SHRM (The Society of Human Resource management) neither confirms nor denies the institutes findings. Its own findings show that companies are taking a closer look and a more proactive interest in addressing grief within its workforce (Zaslow, J. 2002). Given the multitude of issues that could potentially affect a company, a proactive approach to addressing the aftermath of grief, related to an incident (minor or major), is only a benefit to a company.
Grief Consultants are one such proactive option to businesses. A June 9, 2020 article in Forbes, speaks about how some business leaders are taking a deeper dive into grief and how it is affecting their business. As a byproduct, some CEOs now provide their employees helpful options that range from support, to pay, to extended bereavement time. They see the money being spent to manage this issue creating a much larger return for the business, in the future.
Balancing the now and the future is essential to company growth and the Forbes article points that out. This is the part that is very “tricky” for companies, developing a company atmosphere and balance that will move the needle forward both emotionally for the employee and financially for the business is key.
Again, a grief consultant can assist a company in striking that balance by helping to mitigate possible issues and prevent them from becoming larger than they need to be. Because grief is costing American business upwards of 50-100 Billion dollars annually (more narrow figures are difficult to achieve). This is another reason that The Grief Recovery Institute is placing a “price tag” on the cost of grief. The costs are staggering, and many have no idea where the dam is leaking from.
Many organizations have been using the same statistics of 50-100 billion dollars in loss due to grief, since 2002. I sense the many issues in the last three years alone, have caused those costs to rise significantly.