Are your employees exhausted?

There’s an excellent chance that your employees are emotionally exhausted.

The reality is that we’re all exhausted. Tired of COVID, tired of politics, and tired of 2020 in general.

Both owners and employees are exhausted. But I think it’s worse for employees.

There’s no question that many funeral home owners have had to fight tooth and nail to keep their businesses afloat this year. You’ve been dealing with state-mandated restrictions, managing family expectations, guarding cash reserves, filing for PPP, and trying to figure out what to do next. It’s been a hell of a year.

Being extremely busy running your business is precisely why it’s easier to be an owner than an employee right now. Being busy means you have not had a lot of free time on your hands and that’s a good thing right now.

Very few employees go home at night and spend hours thinking about keeping the business running smoothly. They don’t have to, that’s the owner’s job.

Instead, they go home at night and tap into their favorite media sources (not a good thing).

Rather than unwinding at the end of a hard day, the media just ratchets up stress to another level. Take the latest COVID news, mix in a horrible election year, add in a big helping of social isolation, and you have the recipe for depression, a.k.a. complete emotional exhaustion.

Business owners are busy, but that also means we’ve had less time to get sucked into the media sewer. As I said, it’s worse for employees because they have more time on their hands.

Clients have told me about employees who used to be self-starters who now stand around waiting to be told what to do. Star employees have regressed, and poor employees call in sick. That’s a big indicator of emotional exhaustion.

Eventually, they stop doing the little things that make your funeral home special. If you can see the difference, I can guarantee your families are experiencing it firsthand.

What do we do about this situation?

A couple of newsletters back, I used a crude quote from Dan Kennedy, “Most people are walking around in life with their umbilical cord in hand, looking for a place to plug in”.

I used it to describe how families “plug in” to you looking for guidance. But the same is also true for your employees; they’re looking to plug in too.

In my Funeral Business Builder book, I outlined the last step in my process: creating a Master Plan for your business. You can think of your Master Plan as an operating manual that you might provide someone if they wanted to franchise your business.

You create a plan so that when employees are exhausted, they can refer to the plan instead of waiting to be told what to do. They don’t have to guess, and they don’t have to be creative. They just have to follow your Master Plan.

At this point, you have a choice. You can either develop your master plan and ask them to follow it or micromanage every step yourself. I recommend creating a plan because micromanaging will just exhaust you and annoy your good employees.

Here’s the outline of the plan in my book.
Act 1 – Winning the call
Step 1 – handling the phone call
Step 2 – the removal
Step 3 – making arrangements
Act 2 – Preparing the Service
Step 1 – team coordination and event planning
Step 2 – production of materials
Step 3 – supporting the family
Act 3 – Conducting the Service
Step 1 – setting the stage
Step 2 – supporting gathering time
Step 3 – conducting the ceremony
Act 4 – Continuing our Care
Step 1 – post funeral follow up
Step 2 – supporting their grief journey
Step 3 – remembering the date

My advice is to take each one of these topics and discuss it at a weekly staff meeting. Get everyone’s’ input and then write up instructions for the step. In twelve weeks, you will have a complete master plan for your business.

Your staff is emotionally exhausted. Give them a plan to follow and you will make both of your lives a lot easier.

Until next time

PS: My new webinar is live. It’ll show you how to transform your business to serve the 70+ Million Baby Boomers who will need your services in the coming years. You can check it out at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *