How can HR help workers grapple with the death of a colleague?

When SurveyMonkey’s then-CEO Dave Goldberg died suddenly in May 2015, the company he left behind faced tremendous grief, Chief People Officer Becky Cantieri recalled. “As an organization of more than 650 people at the time, we suffered a pretty significant loss,” she told HR Dive in an interview. “It was an experience that not very many other companies had gone through or could lend any advice on.”

Collectively, SurveyMonkey walked a difficult but emotionally honest path as it healed from its trauma. Company leaders agreed quickly that they would share their grief with employees, treating the situation with the utmost transparency, Cantieri, who had been recruited to SurveyMonkey by Goldberg, said. “We addressed employees first thing Monday morning after his Friday passing.” she said. “We acknowledged in front of all employees that this was a tremendous loss; that, as a leadership team, we were pretty devastated by the loss, and that we were going to take the time to grieve and take care of each other for a period of time.”

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