How to Lead After the Death of an Employee

By: Kristin Clarke

When a staff member dies, the loss is often felt far and wide by colleagues and members. For a leader, dealing with the aftermath of an employee's death requires both sensitivity to the grieving process and a clear-eyed view of how your organization will continue its work during a difficult time.

Mark Allen, CAE, had been CEO of the Casket and Funeral Supply Association of America (CFSAA) for three years when tragedy struck his three-person staff in December 2009. Longtime staffer Shari Lucas slipped on ice and hit her head, leaving her comatose. That morning, concerned when their always-punctual colleague did not appear at the office, coworkers contacted friends to check on her....