Saturday, February 16, 2013

State of Marriage & Impact on Workplace

Recently on Fox News I was watching a segment on the current status of Marriage in the US and was a bit shocked. I knew more people were getting divorces than they had in past years but didn't realize how staggering the numbers actually were. Since 1970 the marriage rate has dropped from over 80% to just over 50%. The guest also indicated that when children are reared in a home where parents are married to each other they are 80% less likely to be in poverty as an adult and abuse drugs and alcohol. The most staggering statistic was that over 40% of babies are now brought into this world by a single mother. As I listened to this segment I could not help but think how this possibly has and will continue to impact the workforce.

The biggest impact I could think of only based on my own experience with marriage now going on for almost 25 years is communication and teamwork.  Funny thing (well not really) is the communication and teamwork are also a primary problem working the workplace. It affects success and when really out of hand (such as bullying) it affects people on a physical and mental level. 

If a workplace doesn't have an employee assistance program (EAP) it is most likely to have repetitive issues. When employees are not happy at home they often take that into the workplace and vice versa. EAPs provide a confidential way for employees to vent about whatever is going on at home or work. Employees typically have three FREE meetings before having to turnover
 the discussion for coverage under THIER health are plan. By that time the coach can often diagnose the situation, offer follow-up resources, as well as suggest tools to be used in future conversations.  
In addition, some EAPs offer legal and financial advice for employees who are considering a divorce. Just having the conversation with any one of these resources could possibly make a difference. 

Imagine how many marriages could be saved and how much productivity could be recovered havingresources for   employees to have assistance in such a life-changing journey. 

The photo is of me on my wedding day almost 25 years ago. It's not been easy but I have used the EAP a few times with various employers and it has wholeheartedly helped.  My dad (walking me down the isle) who died last year from cancer struggled through three marriages. I watched times in our lives where it truly affected his workplace performance. He did not have any resources available and often didn't have insurance that would have covered anything but a serious physical health condition. Stop the tragedy of divorce and make a difference for your employees today. 

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