You may or may not have heard the saying ‘ A business is only as good as it’s best employees.’ And let’s be honest, good staff many times are the backbone of a successful company. Here’s the thing, research shows that a divorce is the second most stressful time in a person’s life, even more so than going to jail, can you believe it? So for those staff in a critical role within your business you can understand how going through a divorce can be emotionally distracting for them and inturn cost a business a fortune in bad decisions or lost productivity, if that person is not properly supported.
Emotions and stresses during separation are not easily identifiable, especially in senior management. We know for a fact with our clients, they want to remain professional and if possible hide their feelings in their work environment. They think it is expected of them and it’s how any good leader would act. The ability to work under pressure and manage stress, can be a job requirement for many senior roles. But you may soon discover that ‘family’ related issues require a different set of skills, especially when people can’t remove themselves from the hurt, anger and even the possibility of betrayal of an interment partner.
Associated with these underlying changes and mounting anxiety in an employees life, comes lost productivity and taking an eye off the ball. Neither is good and can add to losses a company would not want to incur. Now none of this is intentional and the benefits of supporting those staff as they deal with their divorce and the unfortunate impacts on their personal life becomes absolutely vital.
Having a valuable trained team member misguided, and inefficient may lead to problems or even dismissal; as we know the cost of advertising, hiring and training new staff is equally high and time consuming. For any company that is keen on empowering and strengthening their staff, while looking after their well-being, this is something that needs to be addressed.
In 2017 HR consultancy Boudica & Eir research, carried out a study on HR Implications of Managing Divorce Wellbeing in the Workplace, which exposed realities faced by men and women, across the UK. The detailed survey found that (24%) of divorced respondents felt that they were pushed or managed out of the business because of their journey. 71% of respondents, working at the time of their separation/divorce, ended up leaving their jobs within the first year of their relationship breakdown. 62% said they were let down by their employer, with 41% feeling not at all supported. 26% said they would have benefited from dedicated divorce wellbeing support.
Then this brings us to; Why An Organisations Should Care About Divorcing Members;
1. The cost of replacing a staff member who leaves because of a divorce.
Great staff members are an asset. Many with years of experience and knowledge which no doubt leads to a profiting business. The need to lay off a staff member during a time of personal crisis can be costly in many ways. When the opportunity to support them at a critical time in their life may lead to great loyalty, overall productivity and greater retention rates.
2. Controlling operational costs.
According to the research findings of Boudica & Eir research 30% of respondents who felt supported said their employer saved money, by not having to replace them. 13% of respondents who felt supported said their employer saved operational costs, by helping them maintain performance. When a company is ready to create connections with its employees beyond work it allows your team member to have a sense of control over his/her situation and therefore have clarity with their decisions and direction. This places them in a better position to focus on the job at hand. They feel empowered to handle their divorce and therefore the stress of divorce will not impact their performance at work. In fact they will be more motivated to perform better knowing they are in good hands.
3. Managing the engagement and performance of staff
It is important to humanise the employer and employees relationship. While it’s important to maintain the level of professionalism, it’s times like these that an employer should view the person going through a divorce as another human first, and as an employee, second. This will help to connect with them more effectively. This will avoid the negative snowball effect over one’s work or team. When they are heard and are given the flexibility to work around their problem rather than expect to perform without consideration, employees will be better able to manage themselves around their work and team.
4. Looking after the organisation’s reputation.
As discussed earlier your existing staff member is your asset. Life may take them through a rough patch but that does not make them bad at what they were already good and experts at. If the right care and support from the company is given at these times, an employer has gained loyalty beyond the years of service. This intern will result in the staff member wanting to work for and prosper the organisation They are convinced! Word of Month and actual testimonials have an impact far beyond any reputation management tool. In a day and age where social media gives access to everything, a loyal employee is nothing but an advocate for the organisation.
So What Steps Can be Taken to Support:
- Make sure your HR team is well-versed. The HR department should be prepared with information and have a policy to guide employees going through a divorce. Regarding matters of absenteeism due to issues such as legal appointments, court appearance, counselling and prioritising quality time with children such as picking kids up from school. Be approachable, with an open-door policy where employees feel that they can tell you their situation.
- Provide training. With 40,000 plus Australians getting divorce each year and even more going through a separation, the need for mental health support is essential. A workshop for senior staff members / managers/ supervisors and team leaders should be given so they can better deal with divorcing employees appropriately.
- Offer practical support. Outlining practical steps that people need to go through to minimise stress. Discuss how you can manage the work tasks and working hours of the party concerned. Consider flexible hours and work from home options which are much easier now that we are in a more digitally accessible world. Something as simple as allowing breaks or a time off may be the best solution and can go a long way. Have a support program for employees both before and during a divorce such as offering counselling. You can achieve this with an individual Strategy Session.
- Consider engaging with a divorce concierge service for your organisation. This becomes a very practical approach for conscientious corporations who prioritise the wellbeing of their employees, just like you. In this specialised and extremely stressful area, some businesses are putting divorce concierge services on a retainer or providing a referral to the experts. This allows for the employee to feel support and organised as they are guided through the steps required for a successful divorce. By partnering with a Divorce Concierge Service provider, organisations minimise stress, losses and disruptions in their day to day operations, so the divorcing executive can continue to focus on fulfilling the responsibilities in both their business and personal roles successfully. Divorce Angel by Tanya Somerton offers several practical programs for individuals and couples going through a Divorce resulting in a less stressful and a more strategic road to a life beyond divorce. To know about the services just contact Tanya Somerton – Divorce Angel – https://tanyasomerton.com/contact/