Every successful business relies on the productivity and efficiency of its employees. When your workers are facing issues outside of their jobs, those two key factors suffer a negative impact. While these issues come in all shapes and sizes, one of the most difficult is dealing with a divorce.
Not only is this scenario extremely stressful, it’s also emotionally draining and terribly distracting. Not only can it affect that employee’s performance, but it can disrupt the entire workplace through concern for the employee as well as gossip. Here’s how divorce is disruptive and how to address the issue.
Distraction from Daily Tasks
Regardless of the job, every worker is responsible for completing tasks and achieving goals. Any form of distraction can slow these primary responsibilities down. With the stress of handling the emotional and legal aspects of a divorce, you can expect the employee’s performance to take a severe nosedive.
They may also have to take time away from the office to consult with their lawyer and focus on the case, which impacts productivity as well. It’s vital that you speak with your employees as soon as you notice something is impacting their work. While everyone’s needs are different during this time, the best option may be to give them a little time off to handle the situation.
From financial woes to custody battles and new living arrangements, divorce is challenging. The emotional rollercoaster a person goes through can carry over into your workplace environment, affecting your other employees as well.
Stressed employees are not focused, motivated, or bringing happiness into the office. This can lead to hostility and arguments, especially once their energy transfers to the rest of the staff. With a high conflict divorce, you’ll notice the change in attitudes immediately.
It’s important to tread carefully when you notice this shift as tensions are high. Talk calmly with the employee about their feelings, taking the time to actively listen. Once again, time off might be necessary. In some cases, giving them a change of pace with a different project might do the trick.
Absenteeism is common amongst employees handling a high amount of stress. Before you jump to company policy and consider termination, ask them to come in and just talk with you instead of come in for the day. This will help you get the bottom of them missing work and avoid the need for wrongful termination attorneys.
While the answer is, once again, giving the employee the time off they need to get things in order, you also need to consider delegating their tasks to other colleagues in order to maintain productivity. Make sure to split up their workload evenly among the rest of the staff so you don’t overload anyone else.
Finally, if you notice an employee who regular does a spectacular job on their assignments making a string of bad decisions, high stress is probably the cause. It’s difficult to focus and make good choices when all of the consequences of divorce are on the forefront of your mind.
Skip the disciplinary actions and address their issue, sympathizing with their situation. This helps retention overall, but also gives you a better insight into why their efficiency is slipping and what you can do to help get things back on track.