Your Crisis Stricken Employee Deserves More Than a Sympathy Card… Do This Instead

Your employee is in crisis – a close member of their family died, a child has become severely ill, or their spouse was injured in an accident and cannot work. You want to offer help, but may not know exactly what to do.

Apart from giving them time off and sending them a card signed by their coworkers, here are some tangible ways you can help to ease their stress while they deal with grief.

1. Hire a house cleaning service for them
The home is a person’s base camp for life. When crisis hits, the maintenance and upkeep can quickly fall behind. Having a neat and clean house relieves stress and suspends the regular duties of house cleaning while the employee and their family deals with grief.

2. Support them with grief counseling services
Counseling services are invaluable during times of crisis. Trained professionals can provide the necessary therapy to help your employee and their family through the difficult time. Supporting their emotional well-being is a tangible way to show compassion.

3. Provide them with regular meals
Cooking or providing meals is time-honored tradition when friends or coworkers experience grief. I’m a life-long Southerner, so, you never go to another person’s house without bringing food – especially if they’ve experienced a tragedy in their family. Today, we have more options than ever. Here are a few services you can use to support employees:

  • Meal Train – Coordinate meal schedules online from friends and coworkers
  • Blue Apron – This service delivers fresh, pre-measured ingredients and recipes straight to their door for family meals

4. Contract a yard maintenance company
As it is with the inside of the house, the outside also requires maintenance. Sometimes, health issues prevent an employee from doing manual labor. Hiring a yard service to keep the exterior of the home properly maintained helps the family stay focused on treatments or healing.

5. Hire them an expert
Some crises have a financial element attached to it and your employee may suffer monetary loss. Retain the services of a financial advisor to help them navigate unexpected financial problems. Since money issues cause severe emotional duress on marriages and families, this is an excellent way to support employees.

6. Provide them airfare and/or accommodations
Specialized medical centers are not always within driving distance. Provide them with airfare and/or accommodations for a trip to see a specialist. Likewise, they may need to travel to their parent’s home on the other side of the country to pack up, sell their house and close out their estate. You can purchase the airline tickets and/or hotel rooms with company funds, donations or with frequent flier miles.

7. Provide advances in pay or low interest loans
With unexpected insurance premiums and hidden costs associated with health or family crises – you can support employees by extending credit, advancing their pay, or offering low interest loans to help them manage cash flow. Just as businesses use these services from banks, you can also provide them with what they need so they can focus on dealing with the crisis at hand and not the financial problems that emerge from unexpected expenditures.

8. Provide child-care services
Employees with young children can benefit greatly from child-care services. You can provide in-home services or get them in to an extended care facility to allow your employee to focus on handling their crisis without too much disruption to their children’s lives.

Remember, these ideas are not intended to be permanent or even long-term commitments. I recommend placing time frames or amounts up front when you present your support to your employee. For example, you might agree to provide house-cleaning services for 3 months or a financial advisor to help them close out their parent’s estate. Regardless, providing tangible ways to support your employees through challenging times shows the level of commitment you have to not only the one employee, but also everyone else on your team and in your company.