There is a direct correlation between the quality of employees’ family lives and the quality of their work lives.
People who live with frequent family tension are likely to bring that stress into the workplace, where it often undermines key aspects of their work.
As one major study showed, strained marital and parenting relationships at home correlate to:
- Higher absenteeism at work
- Lower concentration
- Poorer employee health
- Poorer interaction with colleagues
- Lower job satisfaction
- Lower organizational commitment
- Lower skill transference
These detrimental effects get even worse when family relationships deteriorate to the point of separation or divorce. For example:
- A separated or divorcing employee is typically 25% less productive in the workplace for at least two years.
- The average cost of divorcing employees to an organization is $8,317 per employee per year due to loss of concentration, absenteeism, shortened work hours, time off for court dates, health issues and reduced staff engagement.
- It can take up to five years for employee productivity to fully rebound after divorce.
- Workers in domestic disputes often become less available for travel or extended hours.
- Couples going through divorce are 240% times more likely to experience depression and 34% more likely to experience serious heart trouble.
- As relationships fail, the likelihood of domestic violence grows, costing corporate America up to 7.9 million paid workdays of lost productivity annually.
- Unhappily married couples are 400% more likely to abuse alcohol, leading one or both partners to miss work 30% more often than those without such problems.
- These impacts are often magnified if key executives experience separation or divorce since their work performance can directly affect entire organizational teams.
The Benefits of a Positive Home Life
The good news is that healthy marital and parenting relationships correlate to improved employee engagement at work, including:
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher concentration at work
- Better employee health
- Better interaction with colleagues
- Higher job satisfaction
- Higher organizational commitment
- Better skill transference
Healthy Home Life = Productive Work Life
As these studies show, relationally healthy homes benefit employees and employers alike. People from peaceful homes are happier with their co-workers and supervisors. They find their work to be more fulfilling, productive and enjoyable. Their improved performance typically leads to better career advancement and higher pay.
Employers benefit from having more cohesive, innovative, and effective teams, as well as lower absenteeism, conflict and staff turnover, all of which lead to a pleasant work environment and profitable organization.
These types of benefits are illustrated by comments that were made by the behavioral psychologists, employers and employees in the studies cited at the end of this post. For example:
“Leaders who experienced high levels of family-work enrichment were more enthusiastic, vigorous, and dedicated at work. Leaders were able to transfer these positive feelings to their followers, boosting the work engagement of followers.”
“Since the mastery of communication skills reduces the impact of work-family conflict on marital satisfaction, improving an employee’s marital communication skills is a potentially rich point of intervention. Managers could offer marital communication skills training in their workplace, allowing an opportunity for their employees to increase their marital intimacy. These same communication skills can make the employees more effective on the job as well.”
“Positive emotions in a marriage spill over into the workplace, leading employees to view their jobs as more rewarding. These perceptions may also influence workers to be more engaged in their jobs and to contribute more positively to the emotional climate of their work groups.”
“Learning better negotiation skills with my spouse and children has improved my negotiation skills at work, and expanded my understanding of human nature. In turn work has improved my communication skills and patience to use at home.”
“It’s fun being a dad. It gives me a lot of pleasure and positive energy, which makes itself felt at work.”
Relational Training Produces a Double Benefit
As these studies and testimonies show, employers can gain a double benefit from providing their employees with training in relational wisdom.
Initially, they will bless their workers with one of the most valuable “employee benefits” they can experience: an enhanced ability to build happy and secure families while also experiencing an enjoyable and rewarding work life.
This investment typically comes full circle, blessing employers with more creative, loyal and productive employees, resulting in a more a profitable and personally fulfilling business.
“When companies invest in the physical and relational wellness of their workers, returns on investment can range between $1.50 and $6.85 for every dollar spent on these types of programs.” Relational Wellness: Corporate America’s Business
You Can Lead the Way
If you’re an employer or manager and would like bring these benefits into your church, ministry or business, I encourage you to make our online training in relational wisdom available to your entire staff. At just $70 per employee (large group discounts available), this small investment will quickly pay for itself through the benefits described above (and in these articles on emotional intelligence).
If you’re an employee, you could be the person who brings these benefits to the attention of your employer. You could start by sharing this post with your employer and asking that he or she offer to pay the registration fee for any employee who wants to pursue training in relational wisdom as a form of continuing education. You could then form a private study group so you and your coworkers can work through the course together.
If your employer is unlikely or unwilling to cover this cost, go ahead and make the investment yourself. As you learn to apply improved relational skills at home and at work, God could use your example to encourage others to follow in your steps, eventually bringing these benefits to many of the people you work with every day.
If you’re a parent, start building healthy relational skills into your children at an early age (see Preparing Children for Life). In addition to making them more likely to have happy marriages and families, you’ll be enhancing the skills that contribute to successful and fulfilling careers.
Finally, please pray for us as we seek to carve out time for the development of a “values-based” version of our online course, which will be suitable for use in secular workplaces.
~ Ken Sande
- Marriage and Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business
- Improving Work Outcomes: The Value of Couple and Family Relationships
- The Impact of Divorce on Employee Wellness
- Relationship Breakdowns Have Negative Impact on Business Productivity
- Is Divorce Impacting Your Work Performance
- Think of an example where tensions in your home life or the life of a coworker carried over into the workplace. How did those tensions impact your work or your team?
- Who are some of the most enjoyable and productive members of your organization? What kind of home life do they seem to have? How does their home life seem to affect their work life?
- Describe five relational weaknesses that contribute to tensions at home and also weaken performance at work.
- Describe five relational skills you can develop and practice at home that would also make you a better employee.
- With all of the personal and professional benefits that flow from improving your relational skills, why would you put off training in relational wisdom any longer?
Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.
© 2017 Ken Sande
Would you like to receive future posts like this? Subscribe now!