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LeadingEdition: E-Newsletter for Purdue University Supervisors

Helping manage grief and loss: The supervisor's role

Did you know that grief and loss can pertain to more than the death of a loved one? Most supervisors and managers look at grief and loss as an appropriate response to the traditional concept of death. However, we can grieve over a number of events. Anyone who has ever suffered the loss of a beloved pet knows the difficulties associated with life changes.

Life changes have a way of throwing us off balance, making us feel uncertain and insecure. For example, having a baby, getting married, changing careers, and going to college � all of these situations that traditionally bring a sense of joy can also bring about a sense of loss and sadness.

Managers can look for some of the traditional grief responses in their employees during significant, life-altering events. This may take the form of depression, guilt, anger, denial, shock, or acceptance. To help support a grieving employee, you might ask the following questions: Do you want to talk about your experience, or would you prefer to concentrate on work? Would you like me or another person to share any information with others? If so, what information or details would you like them to know?

The answers to these questions may change on a daily basis. Keep asking the questions and listen to your employee's response.
HRS WorkLife Programs/Employee Assistance Program can serve as a resource for you and also provide assistance to your employees. Please call us at 49-47707. We are here to help!

- Employee Assistance Program




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LeadingEdition is an electronic newsletter for Purdue University supervisors.  It is produced and distributed by Purdue University Human Resources four times annually.  If you have questions, comments or suggestions relating to the newsletter, please call 49-41679 or email us.  Thank you.