- Mastercard is extending its bereavement program for employees who have lost a spouse, child or domestic partner, the company revealed in an email to HR Dive. The credit card company is granting its global employees 20 days of bereavement leave.
- The inspiration for Mastercard's extended benefit was Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO. Sandberg extended her company's bereavement leave from 10 to 20 days after losing her husband unexpectedly two years ago. In a Facebook statement supporting Mastercard's decision, she said: "Mastercard is sending a strong message to its employees: we'll stand by you during the most difficult moments of your life.”
- Mastercard offers other support services for grieving employees, such as phone or face-to-face counseling for emotional, legal and financial well-being; employee-funded assistance with financial, medical and disaster emergencies; and full medical coverage for 18 months.
A study from the Workplace Empathy Monitor found that 92% of employees and 98% of HR professionals surveyed said that empathetic employers drive retention. Employers who show empathy for workers reportedly have higher levels of engagement. Unfortunately, a Businessolver survey showed that only 49% of employees polled considered their employer empathetic.
Employers can show empathy for workers through other benefits besides extended bereavement leave, such as wellness programs offering physical, emotional and financial well-being; flexible work schedules; remote-work opportunities; and stress-relieving activities. The common theme: Respect the various aspects of an employees' life, and they will be more productive and stick around longer.