August 2013 Issue 85

Divorce and your business

B2B Editor 7 August 2013
Have a look around your workplace, at those people you depend upon each day to make a meaningful contribution to your business. How many of them are in relationships, married or de facto? Look a little more closely – how many of them are happy in those relationships?
Don’t know? Not your business?
Perhaps you should – between 30 and 40% of marriages fail; the odds for second marriages are even worse; and de facto unions fail at an even higher rate again.
Look at your key people again, with those stats in mind.
In managing your business, you look out for risk, and take sensible steps to minimize it. What might be the impact of the end of a relationship, upon key staff, in your business? And now imagine if it was one of your partners…
In the uncoupling process, the end of the relationship is seldom mutual. One person may be astounded. They attempt to soldier on, but eventually “normal” is not possible. Anger and grief are hard to manage in a work place.
Work performance may be impacted, productivity declines. Absenteeism increases. The burden falls on other staff and over time, resentment builds. This may go on for years.
And if the key person is your business partner, relations with staff may be strained; personnel may be worried about the security of their employment; day to day operations are a challenge, all potentially impacting the value of your business.
So, still none of your business?
As part of the psychological contract at your workplace, employer and employee each knows what is expected of the other – and it should include an expectation of active empathy.
The investment you make in your people and the steps you take to keep them engaged with you should be reflected in planning to guard against fallout from relationship change. Given the statistics it is sound risk management.
Large firms and departments have structured Employee Assistance Programs which include access to funded counseling supports and sometimes subsidised access to legal and financial advice.
Not all work places have such resources. But you can readily build a network of referral relationships to include counselling and mediation services, financial counselling and planning and expert family law advice.
Ensure your staff are well advised and supported, minimizing their distress and distraction when they are dealing with relationship change. Your key personnel will reward you with continuing loyalty.
We know relationships. DDCS can advise you on how best to effectively support and assist your key personnel dealing with relationship change.
18 Kendall Lane, New Acton Canberra City ACT 2601 T: (02) 6212 7600 E: [email protected]

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