Bereavement Training Testimonials and Case Studies

Arbuthnot Latham Bank

The Financial Conduct Authority has identified bereavement as a potential source of financial vulnerability and the bank approached National Bereavement Service (NBS) to provide relevant training in this area.

“The National Bereavement Service tailored training for our vulnerable client champions along with a webinar for all colleagues. The sessions focused on conversations with bereaved clients, providing valuable insights, case studies and practical guidance on handling the initial call. The training was excellent, equipping staff with the knowledge needed not only to support our clients and executors but also their family and friends.”

Dianne Bevan – Business Support Manager

    • When was training delivered?

July and November 2023 (x 2 sessions)

    • To how many people?

One for Vulnerable Client Champions [12] and the 2nd session for all bank staff regardless of role inc. VC champions [circa 100+ on the call]

    • In what format?

Virtual/online [While face to face is our preferred method for this type of training, the multiple sites involved a webinar style offering]

    • What was the goal the company was trying to solve?

To enable bank staff to understand the context in which bereaved clients or the relatives of clients who have died make contact with the bank, to understand why this group may be financially vulnerable and to enhance their skills in appropriate communication with bereaved people.

    • How will the company use the training moving forward?

Improving customer experience by:

• Enhanced communication with bank staff who will be appropriately empathetic and understanding of their needs, within the financial business-client context.
• Enabling staff to identify clients who may be vulnerable and who can be offered appropriate assistance.
• To enable staff to signpost clients to additional sources of support when appropriate.


Improve staff experience by:

• Increased morale through satisfying conversations with clients.
• To be able to signpost clients to additional sources of support when such needs are identified.
• Training that meets current needs.
• Enhanced skills.

Pinsent Masons

Team members currently deal with a caseload of 20-30 a month. Providing a service to bereaved people not only requires high levels of emotional intelligence, active listening and empathy but also can take a toll on the professionals providing the service. There is a risk of both vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue as well as the triggering of highly emotive memories for team members. Self-care is an essential part of their tool kit.

“The training provided by the National Bereavement Service was tailored to the work we do with our clients. We appreciated the call before the training to understand how we work and what we were looking for. The training itself was delivered well and allowed ample time for questions.

The information provided was affirming in terms of our current processes with some food for thought on how we can make improvements. We would recommend the training to corporate organisations who deal directly with bereaved individuals.”

Christina Bowyer – Partner, Head of Pinsent Masons Pensions Services

    • When was training delivered?

July 2023

    • To how many people?

15

    • In what format?

Virtual

    • What was the goal the company was trying to solve?

• Remind Trustee Solutions Ltd team members of the practical aspects of bereavement which form the context for their conversations with bereaved family members.
• To understand why the Financial Conduct Authority regards bereaved people as vulnerable.
• To increase understanding of the emotional/psychological impact of bereavement.
• To enhance communication skills with bereaved people.

    • How will the company use the training moving forward?

Improving customer experience by:

• Enhanced communication with the team who will be appropriately empathetic and understanding of their needs, within the financial business-client context.
• Enabling staff to identify clients who may be vulnerable and who can be offered appropriate assistance or signposting.
• To enable staff to signpost clients to additional sources of support when appropriate.

Aegon

It has been identified that some team members lack the confidence and skills to communicate directly with clients in these difficult life circumstances, so transactions become unnecessarily protracted using correspondence rather than phone calls. This adds administrative burden to the client and may delay the release of much needed funds. The 51 strong team comprises people of a wide variety of ages and life experiences.

“Aegon contacted the National Bereavement Service to enquire about their specialist bereavement training. We were interested to learn how it could supplement our existing bereavement and vulnerable customer training.

The team at National Bereavement Service were proactive, engaging and clearly proud of the work they do to support organisations and the public.

Anne Wadey and her colleague Zoe delivered a workshop for us on ‘communicating with bereaved people’ in September. The workshop was well designed and well delivered, but what made it extra special was Anne’s unique and impressive storytelling. This is testament to Anne’s long career spent working with bereaved people. Anne and Zoe were professional and personable, making them a joy to work with.

The training was informative and enjoyable and I’m confident it will add great value to our organisation and workforce. Thanks again to the National Bereavement Service team.”

Lisa Barwood – Aegon Learning and Development Consultant

    • When was training delivered?

September 2023

    • To how many people?

24 (x 2 half day sessions)

    • In what format?

On site Edinburgh HQ

    • What was the goal the company was trying to solve?

Training to be provided to enable the Special Care Team to have the confidence to make and receive phone calls with bereaved clients concerning their financial products.

    • How will the company use the training moving forward?

Improving customer experience by:

• Simplifying the process of accessing their assets.
• Enabling current ‘snail mail’ communications to be converted into speedier telephone conversations.
• Enhancing the quality of telephone conversations between the Special Care Team and Aegon customers, with the empathy appropriate to a business-client transaction.
• Confidently signposting customers to additional sources of support when appropriate.

Improve Special Care Team experience by:

• Increased efficiency in processing bereaved clients’ claims, leading to improved KPIs.
• Signposting clients to additional sources of support when such needs are identified.
• Increased morale through satisfying conversations with clients aligning with Aegon’s mission statement.
• Training that meets current needs.
• Enhanced skills and confidence leading to greater staff retention and happier customers who may refer.

University of Leicester

The University of Leicester Student Recruitment and Outreach team are responsible for assisting students as they transition into Higher Education. The twenty strong team have experienced a variety of bereavements over the last year and a training need has been identified both within the team, and potentially within the university as a whole. Group training is sought, particularly around emotional understanding, communication and open discussions. The learning outcomes should therefore enable team members to feel comfortable and confident in their interactions with bereaved colleagues, and enable positive, supportive group conversations.

“The training we received from Zoe at the National Bereavement Service was absolutely fantastic. From putting together a very thorough proposal that clearly met the needs of the team identified in advance to delivering an expertly-handled, interactive session, we couldn’t have asked for a better approach to a really sensitive topic. We would totally recommend any organisation and team taking part in training from the NBS to enhance the support provided for employees and line managers.”

Elliot Newstead – Head of UK Student Recruitment and Outreach

    • When was training delivered?

January 2024

    • To how many people?

    • In what format?

Onsite Leicester , half day session

    • What was the goal the company was trying to solve?

To provide the UK Student Recruitment and Outreach team with greater knowledge and understanding of how best to directly communicate with and support bereaved colleagues.

    • How will the company use the training moving forward?

Improving team members knowledge, confidence, and skills by:

• Providing them with an awareness of the practical and emotional grief journey that a bereaved person will experience.
• Enhancing the quality of conversations between the line managers and team members and those bereaved people with the empathy, compassion, and care appropriate to this relationship.
• Confidently signposting bereaved people to additional sources of support should such needs be identified by increased efficiency in answering and helping the bereaved people with their questions.
• Improved staff morale through supportive conversations with bereaved colleagues.
• Training that meets current needs as identified by management.
• Enhancing skills and confidence leading to greater staff retention and happier interactions between team members and their line managers.
• Awareness of the other support available to them and bereaved people from the National Bereavement Service* as training providers to whom they can signpost where needed.