People do suffer from loss and grief at some point of time. Loss and grief can occur at homes or at workplace but both leave a significant effect on the person. Personal losses may include death of a close one, suicide, divorce, accident etc. Work place loss and grief would take place in case of termination, death of a co- worker, loss of job, loss of role and identity etc. Each person’s response to loss would be different. Where ever the loss would take place it would have an impact on the work environment. The one who has suffered a loss and the other employees too would be affected. Various studies have been carried out to know the about the loss and grief in the work place.
The literature review would help us in understanding loss and grief at work place and I would be mainly focusing on my research topic on how an employer would handle a situation when his employee has suffered a personal loss and at the same time how is the particular employee supposed to behave.
Defining Loss and Grief
Going by the findings of various researchers (Neil Thompson, 2009; John Shep Jeffreys, 95; Kristi A. Dyer, 1996) loss is “the disappearance of something cherished, such as a person, possession or property.” Loss is an experience which can be encountered by anyone irrespective of age, race, sex, nationality, culture or education. The effect of loss is more when it is sudden. According to (Ron Sterling, 2003) there are Primary losses and secondary losses. The primary losses are the loss of one’s health through illness or injury, the loss of one’s role or identity through unemployment and retirement, loss of one’s spouse, children and loss of one’s close friends or associates. The secondary losses are also troublesome but they are not given much importance and are not considered as losses by some people. They include the loss of one’s role as a productive individual in a workplace or society, a turn down in income, a decline in self-esteem as a result of other secondary losses or isolation from others.
“Grief is the normal response to a loss.” Grief and loss takes place in home and workplace but it becomes difficult to separate these two realms. By personal loss we don’t just mean by death of someone close. Losses also refer to issues such as divorces, separation, downsizing, job loss, relatives who are critically ill. All these situations lead to grief. Grief would be in response to a tangible loss like death or a psychosocial loss like divorce or loss of job. The term grief implies ‘pain’. According to (Sigmund Freud, 2004) grief is viewed as a healing reaction to separation. A natural response to the loss of any attachment is anxiety which results in intense but expected behavior. The general grief responses are shock, disbelief, anger, restlessness, aimlessness, loneliness and depression. We need to understand that loss and grief are broader issues than just death and dying. Loss and grief are everyday matters to us which means we regularly experience some sort of loss in our lives.
Loss and Grief in the workplace
Nowadays people spend most of their time at their workplace which leads to a close attachment with the coworkers. Therefore when a colleague suffers a personal loss it impacts on the organization and other co workers too. Whether a co worker has experienced a loss at work or has suffered any personal loss it affects the work performance of everyone. (Bob Vandepol, 2011) points out that event such as natural disasters, armed robbery and industrial accidents have a huge impact on the workplace...
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