Funeral services (such as O'Halloran & Murphy Funeral & Cremation Services) employ over 32,000 people with approximately 97 percent of them working in the death care services. By virtue of the job you do your employees often on call every day, even on weekends. This leaves them with little personal time and not many personal boundaries in which the job does not invade. Your employees will also often find themselves surrounded by the personal trauma and grief that surrounds death and dying while experiencing a certain amount of professional isolation. These issues often lead to about 50 percent of employees leaving the over 22,000 funeral homes within five years, with the others experiencing a high possibility of alcoholism or depression. It might pay to take a proactive approach to helping your employees deal with these issues to reduce the high turnover rate.
So if you are concerned about the employees in your funeral home being able to cope with the emotionally draining aspects of deaths and funerals, here are a few things to consider.
While many funeral homes provide counseling services for the family of the deceased, counseling can also be provided for the employees of the funeral home. For situations of high emotional stress when the funeral home employees have to be the voice of reason and provide a calm and soothing atmosphere for the family and friends of the deceased, this can be emotionally taxing for the employees as well. This can be especially so when it is a child who has died.
It may not be necessary to set up a weekly or even monthly setting for counseling with your staff. However, the process might come in handy after a particularly difficult or taxing experience. For younger persons in the late teens or early twenties, texting counseling services might be something to consider as the act of writing can act as a means of therapy.
Get your group on
The sense of isolation that can be felt by funeral home workers can come from not having much personal time to spend with friends outside of the service and the isolation that can be felt due to the separation exerted by those outside the field. To help your employees cope with this, you might need to facilitate group activities for them with each other so that they can bond. This can be done through the installation of play areas either in or around the funeral home which can serve as a means of stress relief for them.
Group activities can also be in the form of planned social gatherings among your employees. This might help to produce a feeling of camaraderie and friendship which is thought to increase the ability to cope with difficult situations, reduce stress and improve health.