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A Life in Death

A Life in Death: Navigating Funeral Care with Blue Chip Corporations and Family Businesses

As many of you will know, Joy has joined us as another Funeral Director to help lighten the load a little, so I asked her to write a bit about her history within the larger corporation’s compared to a family run business like ours.  These are her thoughts:-

I am honored to share my insights on the dynamics of working within the funeral care sector with you all. As a seasoned Funeral Director with a wealth of experience, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the inner workings of both Blue-Chip corporate businesses and smaller family-owned firms within the funeral care sector. I aim to shed light on the contrasting landscapes of corporate giants, SMEs, and family-owned funeral businesses. The contrasts and transformations I’ve observed and witnessed.    A spectrum of changes over the years some enlightening, challenging and thought-provoking, shaping my perspective and understanding of what truly matters in providing compassionate end-of-life services.

I firmly believe in the adage “you reap what you sow,” acknowledging that individuality, upbringing, and personal values dictate our professional inclinations. This ethos underscores the importance of aligning one’s work environment with their moral compass, particularly in a sector as delicate as funeral care.

Blue Chip corporations, with their established structures and bureaucratic systems, with a rigid approach to governance often find themselves constrained by red tape and a mentality of “hands tied.” The emphasis on efficiency and high-volume operations can sometimes lead to a diminished focus on individualized care. Funeral workers within these organisations may feel like mere cogs in a machine, navigating a relentless conveyor belt of funerals without the opportunity for genuine human connection and touch diminishes, leaving bereaved families feeling neglected. Staff turnover rates are high, and training becomes impersonal and insufficient cultivating empathy and interpersonal skills.  As a result, a pervasive sense of apathy permeates the workplace, hindering genuine care and compassion.

Conversely, SMEs and family businesses offer a more intimate and adaptable, personalized approach to funeral care. With fewer layers of hierarchy, decision-making processes are streamlined, allowing for greater flexibility and customisation to meet the unique needs of each family. The emphasis on personal relationships fosters a sense of continuity and trust, with staff members treating each other and their clients like members of an extended family. Family owned business – in particular, prioritize continuity and human connection; guiding families in an environment that enables a deeper level of engagement and understanding, empowering Funeral Directors to provide tailored support and guidance throughout every step of the journey.

Working closely with a dedicated team fosters camaraderie and mutual respect, enabling us to provide tailored solutions and genuine compassion

Moreover, smaller businesses are deeply rooted in their local communities, fostering partnerships with neighboring businesses and offering a network of support beyond the funeral service itself. This commitment to personalised care extends beyond the immediate aftermath of loss, with family businesses providing ongoing assistance and reassurance whenever needed.

In times of grief, having a familiar voice on the other end of the phone can provide immeasurable comfort. Unlike the impersonal experience often associated with larger corporations, family-owned businesses offer a consistent point of contact, ensuring that families receive the attention and compassion they deserve, day or night.

In essence, the choice between working with Blue Chip corporations or smaller family businesses is deeply personal and ultimately comes down to individual values and priorities. While larger organisations may offer stability and resources, smaller firms excel in compassion, fostering genuine connections and providing unparalleled support to grieving families. Ultimately, it’s the human connection that defines our profession – the assurance that, in times of grief, families will find solace in familiar faces and unwavering support.  As we navigate the delicate journey of life and death, let us remember the importance of empathy, compassion, and human connection in every aspect of funeral care.  Our family caring for your family.

Written by Joy Pedder

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