One of the big stories in France over recent weeks has been the controversy surrounding a spate of suicides by employees at France Telecom. It's an issue touched on in this blog post on TechRepublic which asks what the company's role ought to be in dealing with workplace trauma.
Most of us are fortunate enough not to experience the death of a colleague. I have to believe that even fewer of us are unlucky enough to have to deal with suicide in the workplace. In such cases, it seems to me that the company has an interest in providing the necessary care for those who are left behind. After all, when you spend your entire day working with the same people, bonds and friendships are formed. It's simple as.
From my own experience, I've lost two direct colleagues and1 former colleague. With respect to those who were working with me at the time, neither company lifted a finger to help us. In fact, one company even tried to weasel its way out of paying out on the person's insurance. Classy, eh?
While I personally didn't feel the need to any sort of counseling or to "talk about it" with others, I know that many of my other colleagues who had been their longer or knew the deceased better than I would certainly have benefited from some sort of assistance or "reach out" from the company.
With the world economy in its current state, more and more people are likely feeling the pressures of life – a little help from those who get most of our time and energy wouldn't hurt.