Sooner or later, everyone experiences some kind of personal tragedy or life-changing event. It may be the loss of a parent, a child, or a spouse. It may be a breakup or a divorce. It may be something else that causes intense feelings of grief and upheaval. Even high-performing business leaders deal with these things – but as they grapple with loss and bereavement, these top executives have to stay focused, healthy, and fit, while helping organizations retain key employees and remain profitable. A new Boston-based company called BLT Strategies helps them do exactly that.
“I started BLT Strategies because the grief process cannot be rushed,” says Mary Ellen Wasielewski, founder of BLT Strategies. “The grief journey cannot be made shorter, and in fact, for most of us, it lasts somewhere between 18 months and two years. When you are a business owner or a top executive, though, you cannot allow that season of bereavement to sap your focus. At BLT Strategies, we help our clients navigate their grief journey while remaining as focused, as fit, and as productive as possible.”
Wasielewski bases her approach in her own grief experience: Years ago, she lost her own beloved husband to a sudden heart attack. Left without a job and with three teenage boys to raise, she felt as though her world was turned upside down. Ultimately she weathered the storm and now wants to provide fellow mourners with a simple message: “There is a path out,” she says.
“At BLT Strategies, we work one-on-one with business leaders going through periods of loss and bereavement, and we use proven techniques to help ease their burden,” she comments. “We cannot make the grief journey shorter, but we can help it be more meaningful, and also coach our clients on balancing their bereavement with personal health, family concerns, and the needs of their business.”
Wasielewski goes on to note that, historically, grief has not been something people feel like talking about in the workplace – but that may be changing. “People like Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg have raised awareness for the issue of loss and bereavement among top executives, and of the broader need to provide grief support services in the workplace,” she remarks.
In fact, Wasielewski says grief coaching resources are essential for all businesses. “Members of your team will face life-altering events, and it is in everyone’s best interests to support them during these trying seasons,” comments Wasielewski. “Supporting employees through their grief protects productivity, ensures workplace wellness, and helps you retain top talents.” According to The Grief Recovery Institute, hidden grief costs U.S. companies more than $75 billion each year in lost productivity and squandered business opportunities. Meanwhile, the average employee acknowledges many days of lost productivity, stemming from bouts of intense grief.
In the end, Wasielewski says, everyone’s grief process is different. “At BLT Strategies, we take an individualized approach – but we also know the best ways to help during periods of tough transition,” she concludes.
More information about BLT Strategies is available online at www.bltstrategies.com
BLT Strategies is a coaching and consulting service, specializing in the areas of grief, bereavement, and transition. The company works with high-performing leaders to help them keep healthy and productive even through difficult seasons of life. BLT Strategies also helps companies provide grief support services for their employees, preventing lost productivity or absenteeism. BLT Strategies was founded by Mary Ellen Wasielewski, and is accessible on the Web at www.bltstrategies.com and @BLTStrategies