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Dr. Jason Troyer

Dr. Jason Troyer
Dr. Jason Troyer is a psychology professor, former counselor, grief researcher, speaker and consultant for businesses who want to better serve grieving families.

Recent Posts

3 Tips for Smoother Funeral Home Family Business Succession Planning

February 16, 2023 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Finding Resilience

Last year, I was running a discussion group of funeral directors, and they shared some common frustrations. Jessica*, a third-generation, 40-something funeral director, said something that stopped the group in its tracks:

“My father just won’t give up the reins. He won’t even let me meet with families by myself.”

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Using Workplace Rituals to Benefit Funeral Professionals

December 15, 2022 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Funeral Home Business

Funeral professionals know firsthand how rituals and ceremonies can benefit the bereaved. In fact, much of the training provided in mortuary science programs is directly connected to preparing for and facilitating funeral rituals. But did you know that rituals are beneficial for funeral professionals too? I’m not talking about grief-related rituals; I’m referring to rituals that can help funeral professionals by providing motivation, staying grounded, and being mindful. I will provide three examples of funeral professionals using rituals, including an embalmer before preparation of the body, a preplanner before setting appointments, and a funeral director before an arrangement conference.

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5 Counter-Intuitive Strategies for Hiring & Retaining the Best Funeral Home Employees

October 20, 2022 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Funeral Home Business

Every funeral home in the nation seems to be looking to hire more staff these days. Articles in funeral publications suggest that the increased call volumes from Covid, the retirement of Baby Boomers and the effects of the “Great Resignation” are converging to create a hiring boom in funeral service. From licensed funeral directors and preneed specialists to the office staff and unlicensed funeral assistants, funeral homes need outstanding employees for all areas of their business.

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4 Productivity Tips for Starting Your “New Year” in September

August 18, 2022 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Finding Resilience

Did you know that the “real” new year starts in September? Let me explain. I spent 37 years of my life either attending a school or teaching at one. My father was a high school principal for my entire childhood, which meant that our family life and vacations revolved around the academic calendar. Whether I was a student or a professor, the phrase “starting a new year” usually meant returning to school at the end of the summer.

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Lessons for Funeral Service Professionals from the Appalachian Trail

June 16, 2022 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Finding Resilience

The Appalachian Trail runs through the mountains of Tennessee about 20 miles from my home. Known to the hikers as the “A.T.”, it spans nearly 2,200 miles from northern Georgia to Maine and touches 14 states. Because each hiker has their own pace, it takes an average of four to six months to complete the entire hike. Every year, more than 3,000 hikers attempt this feat, which is referred to as a "thru-hike" of the A.T. Only about 25% of them are successful.

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How to Turn Funeral Home Employees into Leaders

February 18, 2022 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Finding Resilience

“No one is stepping up and showing any leadership. I still have to do most of it myself.” As John* inched closer to his retirement date, he had hoped that his children (who are funeral professionals) would start taking on more responsibility to help families, work with vendors and volunteer for countless other tasks. But when you talked to John’s children, they would frequently complain that their father would not allow them to take on these new responsibilities.

Then John contracted COVID-19, forcing him to miss work for three weeks. In hindsight, he wishes he had let his children take on more responsibilities earlier. Instead, he had less than a day to prepare them to run the business without him and found out the hard way that they were not ready to take over day-to-day operations.

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5 Things Funeral Professionals Wish the Public Knew About Them

December 9, 2021 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Finding Resilience

Funeral professionals do much of their work in the background. Consequently, the public often has misconceptions about who they are and what they do. As someone who has worked closely with funeral professionals for almost 10 years, I feel compelled to share the real story of funeral professionals. So, on their behalf, here are five things that funeral professionals wish the public knew about them.

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Helping Family Members Find Balance in Funeral Service

August 12, 2021 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Funeral Home Business, Finding Resilience

“I’m worried about my dad. He’s been pushing himself too hard and he won’t take a break,” said Tom.*

Tom was concerned about his father, Frank. I learned that Frank was 74 years old, a second-generation funeral director and owned the family firm. Despite having three younger family members working for the funeral home, Frank continued to work long hours and go for weeks without a day off.

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5 Pieces of Advice for Overwhelmed Funeral Professionals

December 11, 2020 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Funeral Home Business, Finding Resilience

Let’s get the bad news out of the way: People all over the world have faced unimaginable loss this year – lost jobs, lost opportunities and, yes, lost loved ones. All of these losses can lead to additional stress on relationships, extra challenges for parents of school-age children, limited contact with our family and friends, financial hardship and acute anxiety. Funeral professionals specifically have faced increased danger in your job duties, added career stress and frustration as you improvise ways to best serve families.

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What I Wish Everyone Knew About Funeral Professionals

February 14, 2020 by Dr. Jason Troyer
Featured, Finding Resilience

Funeral professionals work hard to be emotionally supportive for the bereaved, use their professional training to care for the deceased and create events that will begin healing. The people they serve are likely going through some of the toughest days of their lives. The last thing a funeral professional will do is complain about how difficult their job is.

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