• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • Why talking about death should be in your employee wellness programme

    By Cherry Williams, huunuu

    Thinking about death, let alone talking about it can be a daunting prospect. But it shouldn’t be and here’s why. Discussing and normalising death, which after all is a part of life, helps to build mental resilience which is key to overall employee engagement and wellbeing.

    As we take steps back to a new world of work, where video calls are more commonplace, it’s clear that our mental health has been challenged. Covid has been and is hard – many employees will be experiencing feelings of loss, either through unexpected death or change and may be struggling to adapt. You, as an employer, can enable a sense of preparedness & resilience, a sense of togetherness, strengthen connections and help build an understanding of what death and legacy mean.

    • A report by the HSE found that a whopping 9 million working days are lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2019/20. Throw Covid into that mix and you have a lot of lost days and unhappiness.
    • Forbes magazine wrote recently that empathy is the most highly regarded management attribute – and employees are voting with their feet if their employers don’t display this.
    • The number of deaths recorded in the UK in 2020 was at its highest since 1918, when the influenza pandemic took hold. We need to get a collective grip on how to deal with death and talking, educating and planning are key.

    Preparation is vital. Moving forward into this new world with long-term strategies in place to support employee mental health and wellbeing is needed.  Expecting employees to ‘power on through’ is no longer good enough. The workplace needs to move with the times we find ourselves in.

    So, where to start?

    The important thing is to start somewhere. huunuu have a range of products and tools to support employers through the process. Their Big Conversation Work Mats follow universal good working practice in facilitation, enabling openness and transparency and building a sense of community and connection with team members. Introducing subjects relating to being prepared, such as Wills/Lasting Power of Attorney/preferred places of care and death, delegates begin to think of, not only the practicalities of being organised and what that means, but also a sense of what matters most in their life and what they want.  Employees can share and hear other’s stories and get more comfortable talking about these difficult subjects.

    Facilitated workshops guide participants, virtually or in-person and employees can expect to leave their session feeling that they can take positive action and become prepared, resilient and connected whilst being supported by their employer. There is no hiding in dark corners here!

    To arrange a session for your teams, contact Sarah Ikhlef – sarah@huunuu.com

    To understand further how to unlock the confidence to discuss death in the workplace visit: https://huunuu.ac-page.com/home and download your free eBook.


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