4-5 Rodriguez Staff Recogn.

The challenges of working in a funeral home are quite different than in a traditional 9-5 environment. Funeral directors and staff must deal with death on a regular basis which can be tough. The hours are often long with late night and early morning calls from clients. Funeral staff often works on the weekends and evenings for visitations and ceremonies.  With such long hours, retaining quality staff long term can be a challenge. One solution is to create a staff recognition system, which can go a long way in keeping employees happy and committed to your funeral home. 

According to the Society of Human Resource Management, companies who implement a strong employee recognition system discover some of the following benefits: increased employee happiness, added humanity in the workplace, improved employee relationships, and reinforced company values in its employees. These benefits could result in

  • happier employees who take fewer sick days,
  • good relationships between staff which lead to higher productivity, and
  • employees who feel valued and take more ownership in their work.

What kind of employee recognition system do you have in place? Whether you’ve created an employee recognition system already or are looking to get started, here are a few key points to remember.

Stay Consistent

Rewards based on customer feedback are important to an employee recognition program. People like to know if what they do matters. What better way to show them how much their efforts are appreciated than by taking note whenever they receive heartfelt feedback from a client-family?  There are several feedback programs like OGR’s Family Contact Program that make it easy to keep track of how your staff measures up.

Example questions taken from the Family Contact Survey:



Whether you use Family Contact or another survey program, make note of family’s responses to your staff.

Keep it Authentic

Learn to separate and recognize different forms of going above and beyond. When recognition is doled out haphazardly, employees begin to see it as inauthentic. Be sure to recognize the difference between an employee who put in extra time and effort to achieve a family’s wishes as opposed to someone who did something simpler such as walk someone to their car. Smaller efforts can be recognized through positive verbal feedback while bigger efforts warrant bigger acts of appreciation such as giving them an extended lunch hour or the afternoon off.


Don’t be afraid to ask your employees how they prefer to be rewarded or recognized. Each business has different values and processes so make sure you know what is important to your employees.

Ideas on how to Recognize and Reward Employees:

  • Spotlight them on the company website, social media or in a company email or newsletter.


  • Have a monthly recognition drawing. Each staff member gets their name put in every time they are mentioned favorably by a client or fellow employee for a gift card, lottery scratch off or some other prize.
  • Award 2 or 3 hours comp time that can be dedicated to any activity. Let them use that time to refuel themselves by taking a run or even a nap.

What do you do to recognize staff at your funeral home? For more low cost ways to recognize your staff go here.

By Denise Rodriguez,
Publications & Family
Contact Coordinator