Ninety five percent of the time when someone is seriously ill or grieving is spent with colleagues, friends, neighbours, walking the dog, going shopping, watching TV etc; only 5% is spent with a healthcare professional.

Organisations are places where people spend a lot of their time.  They are places of natural communities of support, where people become colleagues and friends.  Organisations are also placed within communities, close to where people live, socialise and experience all the ups and downs of life. We support workplaces and organisations to develop their compassionate strategy for their internal audience as well as their place within the external audience, i.e. the local community. One of the principles of a Compassionate Community is inclusivity and therefore this approach also considers an organisation’s approach to equity, diversity and inclusion.

We do this in a variety of ways including training, coaching, consultancy and our Award Programme which includes a baseline assessment and the co-production of a strategy. We support you on reviewing and developing policies and approaches that are right for your business. We can work with any sized organisation!  To find out more contact

A Compassionate Organisation is a grief friendly one, it ensures that people who are working whilst living with a serious illness or who are grieving are listened to and supported. It also ensures that team leaders and line managers are equipped with the skills to do so.

“I asked for some flexibility whilst supporting my Mum caring for my Dad.  They lived three hours away and Dad had terminal cancer.  Whilst my boss ticked the box saying “anything we can do to help” etc the reality was I was expected to work normally.  My job was intense and demanding, often writing complex detailed reports at short notice. If I made any mistakes my boss was down on me like a ton of bricks.”  

“Having an understanding reduces the anxiety of being viewed negatively whilst trying to support a loved one with a serious illness. Flexibility and support shown go a long way to generating commitment to an organisation in the long run”

In addition to being a Compassionate Organisation is the right thing to do. There are three business reasons why this Charter Award Programme is so important: –

1) Workforce productivity, morale and retention – the science demonstrates that people who are part of a compassionate society are healthier and happier than those who aren’t.  Research shows the links between staff wellbeing and productivity, however when it comes to serious illness, caregiving and bereavement there is evidence that significant changes are needed with organisations.  These improvements will improve productivity, in addition to staff morale and retention

2) Financial results – staff absence, reduced productivity, and replacement of leavers costs business money.  Colleagues who are not appropriately supported at the most challenging times of their lives are less likely to remain loyal to the organisation and have an increased likelihood of increased absenteeism. 

3) Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and because it’s the right thing to do – an organisation is based in a community.  A business who wants to have a good reputation, who wants to be part of their community, who wants to recruit and retain staff needs to be a good employer.  Whilst there are examples of good practice in supporting people when living and working with a serious illness and/or grieving – other examples are not consistent with CSR or good employment practice.