Colleague Death Announcement

Hopefully, you will never need this post. Just in case you are ever in a position to tell the rest of your staff about the death of a colleague, there are better ways to make the announcement than just letting the gossip mill and water cooler conversations take care of it for you.


  • Do tell your staff as soon as possible after the family has received notification. A simple email with the following would suffice:
    We were saddened to receive word that NAME, POSITION, passed away on DATE.  Funeral services are WHEN and WHERE.  [Details from the family]. You may read the obituary, [link]. If you would like to sign the guest book, you may do so [link].
  • Do share only the details the family wants released, even if there are news articles with more information (those articles might be wrong).
  • Do make every effort to let current and former employees know.
  • Do share funeral or memorial service information.
  • Do offer a way for those wanting to share memories to do so.
  • Do handle the day-to-day details as you would with any other change in employment.



  • Don’t speculate.
  • Don’t wait.
  • Don’t forget everyone grieves in their own way.

Are there other dos and don’ts you would add to this list?

2 thoughts on “Colleague Death Announcement

  1. I would say to add a photo of the person, either their official company/ID photo or maybe from social media, to any employee communication that is sent out. In large companies, people in different offices are unknown to others, so sharing a photo is a good idea in my opinion.

    There were recently two deaths at the company where I work, one from a long illness and the other as the result of a motor vehicle accident. In both cases, the person’s NAME was familiar, but I could not recall their faces as we work for a very big company with offices all over the world. It would have made me feel better to put a face with the name.

Leave a Reply to Rebecca FarrellCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.