The effects of divorce in the workplace are staggering. Employees struggling through a divorce are often tardy or miss work and have poor performance and lower productivity than their colleagues. And, though they may be at work, they’re often absent mentally, emotionally and creatively.
Harvard Business Review estimated that presenteeism costs American business $150 billion annually. A distracted employee represents a significant cost to a business being able to reach its goals, to make wise and well-informed decisions that affect the bottom line.
Numerous studies have found a causal link between lowered productivity with divorce issues often stretching into months and years. The financial toll it takes on businesses’ is immense.
- Minneapolis-based Life Innovations study titled “Marriage and Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business?” calculated that stress from relationship-related issues costs companies $300 billion a year.
- This study also found that employees lose more than 168 hours of work time in the year following a divorce, which is reported to be more than 8% of their actual time at work.
- A study from the Grief Recovery Institute found that workplace costs from serious emotional distress are $75 billion a year due to:
- lost productivity
- increased errors and accidents
- reduced concentration
- poor decision-making
The effects of divorce also cause elevated stress and anxiety levels which can lead to poor health and increased healthcare costs for the employee and the company.
How Employers Can Help
If you have an employee struggling with the end of a relationship, it’s important to offer them support. Talk to them directly. Strategize solutions that will help with maintaining their workload. Nip office gossip in the bud. Allow flex hours so they can attend a divorce support program or legal appointments, or pick a sick child up from school.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers therapy can be helpful but, it can only do so much to minimize the effects of divorce for those struggling. The five to six therapy sessions approved by the typical EAP just aren’t effective enough to get a person past the divorce crisis. When an employee doesn’t get help, it’s a given that their work performance will suffer; they may get depressed or choose substances to cope, and their work relationships typically suffer.
The 10-Week Rebuilding Program
Rebuilders International offers a 10-week Rebuilding program based on proven techniques for ending a relationship and building a new life. This program is available online and in-person—whether individual or in a group format—to help minimize the effects of divorce. Divorce support groups allow a person to get back on their feet more quickly than traditional therapy and this degree of stability will reflect in their work.
Typically, it costs more for an employer to subsidize individual therapy sessions than it does the cost of the 10-week Rebuilding program. It’s been our experience that 10 weeks of Rebuilding does more for a person than a year of therapy and the results are phenomenally different.
Take the examples of Adam—a customer service manager at a high-tech company—and Keri, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who were both served with divorce papers at work and immediately fell apart. Unable to make strategically sound and timely decisions they’re challenged while in the midst of the divorce upheaval.
Offering the 10-week Rebuilding program to an employee—who can participate online from the comfort and privacy of their own home—is the only proven option available to help minimize the effects of divorce and it’s effective in the short-term whereas therapy often is not. The groundbreaking Rebuilding work helps people successfully cope with the end of a relationship by facing their “stumbling blocks” rather than repeatedly tripping over them.
As a relationship and divorce support coach, we offer the 10-week Rebuilding program to those struggling with divorce. Please contact us to add this powerful and life-changing program to your EAP toolbox. If you’re an employee struggling with divorce, please consider Rebuilding; it truly is life-changing.
Nick Meima is a Divorce Support Coach with decades of experience coaching men and women through the challenges of a relationship ending.