Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Grieving at Work

It's a rainy, gray, cool day. I had the day off from work and I realize I'm grieving.
My boss is leaving.
I think workplaces don't allow time or space for grieving the changes and loss that come with daily life.

We're supposed to embrace change. Change very often brings loss: a colleague moves up, a supervisor moves away. Often there's a domino effect. A space is opened and another colleague moves into it. That leaves yet another space somewhere. How is any organization supposed to function with such shifts in personnel?

Or perhaps the shifts in personnel lead to new dynamics in the workplace. It's not the same-old same-old anymore. Perhaps a new boss has an agenda that differs from what the old boss had. Perhaps that agenda means everybody get out of your comfort zone!

Peter Hutchinson brings up the Kübler-Ross model for dealing with loss. One of his suggestions in dealing with the Depression Stage is to "provide vision, a picture of the new normal."

I think very often supervisors try, but are not very successful in providing this in a way employees can take to heart. When grief is very deep, the catch phrases of an organizations vision or mission statement can seem hollow.

After all, if they meant something, so & so might not be leaving. Or such & such a decision might not have been made so quickly. If only life in the workplace were more thought fully measured and if only we had the kind of support we might have in our homes, with our friends and families to get our backs.

1 comment:

DaddyMan said...

I don't mind all the swapping around, it's when the cool people start to leave.

Then I start to get pissed off.