Company launches blog to inform work force about co-worker deaths
When Eve Carson, student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was killed in March, the school set up a blog to allow the community to offer its condolences and seek comfort online.
The huge outpouring of sentiment inspired the communications team at SAS, a software company located just 20 miles from the UNC campus, to develop a blog for employees to grieve lost co-workers.
“We thought this could be a beautiful thing internally,” said Becky Graebe, managing editor of SAS’s intranet.
Unfortunately the project was put to the test in March when a 49-year-old SAS employee died unexpectedly. The blog helped employees deal with the grief and shock.
“The time and situation seemed right to introduce this new method of sharing memories and condolences as a way of fostering a sense of support and community,” Graebe said.
A sense of community
Prior to the blog’s launch, SAS communicators notified employees of a co-worker’s death via e-mail. They used quotes from the late employee’s manager and a few colleagues to write a short memory piece to include in the e-mail.