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What to consider so that, when needed, you can offer assistance
The author is chief mission officer at
Cancer and Careers, which provides programs and services on cancer workplace issues, and is the sole initiative of the CEW Foundation, the charitable arm of Cosmetic Executive Women, a New York–based nonprofit trade organization.
When an employee is diagnosed with cancer, it can be hard to know how to react or what the best course of action is for providing support. Cancer represents a wide range of diagnoses, treatments, side effects and recovery processes. It is also a very personal experience that people handle in the way that makes sense for them. Some people will be very up-front with their health information and what they need. Others will be more guarded and private.
As an HR professional or manager, you are not expected to understand all of the variables. However, there are things you can think about, organize and research so that when needed, you are a better resource for clarity and support. Preparation can offer you (and your employees) solid footing at a time when things feel off-kilter.
Here are some tips for supporting an employee with cancer:
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