In the funeral business, customer service is key to providing exceptional experiences; however, meeting the demands of your families starts with leadership. By creating a positive workplace culture, one that enables employees to flourish, you can ensure that your families will receive the best experience possible.


Create a Healthy, Supportive Work Culture

Your leadership sets the tone for how the entire workplace operates. For starters, your leadership team should lead by example. If you want a workplace in which team members regularly give and receive feedback, then your leaders should do so themselves. If team members are expected to be punctual or occasionally work overtime, then leadership should do the same. 

Leadership also creates a positive work culture through various acts of engagement. This could include mapping out career paths with each of your team members, developing an incentive compensation plan, and consistently communicating the “why” regarding how much service and quality means to grieving families. By engaging your employees in these ways, you can ensure that they’ll be driven to give families better customer service. 


Set Clear Expectations

As with any type of organization, the leadership of a funeral home must create and enforce workplace expectations. Formally establishing and recognizing these standards allows team members to have a clear sense of direction and provide families with a more consistent experience. You can communicate these expectations during regular 1:1 meetings and employee reviews.

These expectations and standards can be related to workplace behavior, performance, tasks, and outcomes. In most cases, you can display expectations in an employee handbook and job descriptions. When providing feedback to team members, leadership should also refer to these standards, allowing employees to see how they’re living up to expectations. 

That said, you shouldn’t make the rules so strict that there’s no room for your team members to adapt. Families have different needs, and your rules should provide the flexibility needed to meet these different sets of needs. When implemented properly, formal expectations will empower your employees, giving them the power to make certain decisions on their own without a manager’s approval.

For example, you might consider giving team members the power to offer up to $200 in incentives without manager approval, giving them extra negotiating power while working with families. 


Invest in Employee Growth

One of the surest ways to optimize family experience is to invest in employee growth. Naturally, your team members already have a certain level of skill upon their hiring, but everyone—regardless of experience—can always refine their abilities. 

In the funeral business, soft skills like empathy and active listening can allow team members to work more effectively with families. Additionally, team members would benefit from staying up to date on industry trends, allowing them to answer questions and recommend products and services with confidence. 

Ideally, within the early days of a team member’s employment, leadership will sit down with them and create a long-term plan for career growth. This might include training that allows them to take on additional responsibilities, as well as mentorship opportunities. 

If employees don’t feel like they’re growing with your business, then they’ll likely seek work elsewhere. Because of this, it’s essential to ensure that each team member has a future within your organization. 


Leadership Training With Johnson Consulting Group

In the funeral business, your leadership team sets the tone for the entire organization, from establishing an organization’s values down to the day-to-day processes of implementing them. For most organizations, leadership will engage team members through ongoing training; however, sometimes, your leadership needs training as well. 

If you’re looking to upskill your leadership team, then you should consider the courses offered by JCG Academy. Conducted by skilled death care consultants, JCG’s Leadership and Management courses can help your leadership team refine their managerial skills and stay up to date on best practices. 

No matter your years of experience in death care, we should always be building on our knowledge and skill sets. For leaders of death care organizations, JCG’s courses can help augment their abilities and spread this experience with the rest of your team. Contact us today to learn more about the program and sign up.