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Facts about the impact of personal relationships on workplace performance and productivity

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What happens in our day-to-day private lives, especially our close relationships has the potential of intruding subtly, and often not so subtly into our daily working lives.

 The impact of personal relationships on workplace performance and productivity

What happens in our day-to-day private lives, especially our close relationships has the potential of intruding subtly, and often not so subtly into our daily working lives.

Arriving at the office after having an early morning tiff during breakfast can be disastrous later in the day on our levels of concentration in the workplace. If the tiff escalates into a break-up or divorce however, we may even lose or gain a few pounds in a week! The obverse of the spin of that coin is “falling in love” which has the effect of making us feel as though we are walking on a cloud.

When it comes to the workplace, in the past many managers have tended to ignore the personal, and private emotions of their staff in situations similar to those described above. In fact, many were irritated as they felt that anything personal had a deleterious effect on both the quality and quantity of work output. They were correct to feel irritated, but for the wrong reasons.

For this reason, today, increasing numbers of employers are waking up and beginning to comprehend that the quality of off-site close staff relationships does indeed impinge on productivity. The healthy, open-minded view that is evolving now with avant-garde managers involves some or all of the following:

• Telling staff up-front that they value the idea of healthy relationships, both on and off the job.

• That they become acquainted with the full spectrum of issues involved in broken relationships, the stress they cause, and the knock-on effect on health and attitudes.

• Making it easier for staff to be able to communicate freely where they have the need to talk to somebody – often just a few kind words in private being enough to help.

• Being always alert and observant as to the possibility of the high prevailing risk of the specter of domestic violence.

• Including family and marital “health” as an item on office meeting agendas.

• Encouraging the facilitation of coaching classes in connection with functioning relationships.

• Taking the time to examine the company Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to make sure that, inter alia, it addresses trauma counseling.

It is encouraging that it is now often standard practice for and EAP to offer health and wellness education to their employees. It has been established that marriage and relationship counseling is critically important in the support of people working in high-stress occupations, where staff are working unusual, and often long hours, and spent extended times away from home.

This important factor was recognized very early in the US Military, where stress the of military life and deployment was seen to be taking a heavy toll on families. The book “Love Links” written by Dr John van Epp has become the foundation for valid programs put together to assist couples with their emotional and mental ties – even when they could not be together face-to-face.

As if to underline all these factors, in 1998 it became clear to authorities in Oklahoma in the US that there was a severely low per-capita income. They observed that this social indicator was having very negative impact on the State economy. Parallel to those two factors ran a few other seemingly unrelated factors:

• High divorce rate

• High rate of out-of-wedlock births

• Higher than normal child deaths related to the population size in other states

• The child deaths were often connected to parental abuse

It did not take long to connect the dots, and conclude that the high divorce rate resulted in a low per-capita income. It is indeed a serious challenge for any single mother or divorcee to support both herself and he children – especially if the ex is a prisoner, or does not pay maintenance.

In business the harsh realities of the foregoing scenario have not gone unnoticed. The heavy economic toll for companies, associated with staff marital disruptions, has prompted CEO’s and managers to now invest in professional approaches to the concept of handling of personal lives and relationship counseling.


Posted on May 9, 2010
Posted on Apr 30, 2010
Colin Dovey
Posted on Apr 27, 2010
Johnny Dod
Posted on Apr 25, 2010
Posted on Apr 23, 2010

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Colin Dovey

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