Marital status is one of the many protected categories in workplace anti-discrimination laws, so while it isn’t right for an employer to fire a divorced employee, organizations do need to show care. There is no doubt that a divorce for even your best employee can cause adverse effects on their performance.
This is why it has become increasingly important for establishments to consider a proactive approach to managing employees who end up with a divorce.
According to a recent study conducted by Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, the US’s divorce rate is 3.2 per 1,000 people. This is known as the ‘crude divorce rate.’ To put it more openly, almost 50% of all marriages in the US end up in a divorce or separation, making the US take the 6th spot in the world with the highest divorce rates.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the ways through which you can support your best employees if they ever go through such a sorrowful event.
1. Avoid Negative Reactions
First of all, it is important to understand that a divorce is not easy for any party. As one could expect, marriages are quite expensive, and the coming of two people signifies respect and adoration. So when a divorce does happen, it is quite shattering and can make a person feel emotionally unstable.
This is why all negative connotations and remarks about the employee should be avoided at the office as they are already feeling quite vulnerable. Instead, HR needs to address this concern in a supportive manner by both oral and written communications.
2. Build Towards Closure
You simply cannot have your best employee out of commission because they are stuck thinking about their marriage and divorce. As a manager or supervisor, it would be best to help them move on and look at better opportunities in their personal life elsewhere. The idea over here is to make them find closure to such a painful and tormenting event.
The sooner they are able to forgive themselves and everybody else, the better they would be able to cope up with reality and get a move on with their lives. Time cannot be reverted, and crying over spilled milk wouldn’t solve any problems.
3. Confidentiality & Privacy Matters
The company and the organization must consider the employee’s privacy in high regard. They should abstain from making private information from going public. People have a right to follow their lives as per their own preferences after office hours. This is where a line should be drawn where management should agree and decide on keeping one’s private matter absolutely confidential.
All revelled in due time, but to take someone’s personal life and broadcast it through a station is ultimately harrowing for the person who is involved in the incident. Such communications should be prohibited and considered ill-advised.
4. Dealing with Sensitive Issues
As one could expect, going through a divorce can impact someone’s life and career quite drastically. This may include them coming into contact with some triggers in their surroundings or even work environments that might make them feel sensitive. Therefore, the upper management needs to monitor the person’s behavior in a new light and perspective.
You need to do this until things subside down and visible improvements in the person’s ability to communicate and general behavior during office hours are observed. Small things do matter at times as an employee going through a divorce might feel too sensitive about them. An emotional outburst might be expected. However, the management has to be prepared to handle the situation in an adequate manner and offer them support through consultations.
5. Each Case is Different
There is no question about the fact that each divorce can be so different from each other. Therefore it leaves organizations unable to devise a proper rule of thumb to handle these kinds of situations. People come from all walks of life; they each have their own mindsets, perspectives, and the way to do things.
This is why some divorce can be a setback, whereas, at the same time, those who had suffered hardships from their marriages may even look at a divorce as a sign of relief and starting anew in their lives. There is a broad spectrum between those eternities, which makes it extremely hard for the management to decide in order to how employees should be treated under such circumstances.
However, the best form is of healing is through peaceful talks in a safe and secure environment. This will allow supervisors to learn about emotional stability and whether they can manage work pressures simultaneously.
6. Monitoring Performance
There are several ways you can monitor the performance of employees going through troubled times. Employee tracking software like Time Doctor and Teramind are sophisticated enough to provide tons of insights into how employees are spending their screen time on computing devices.
However, it should be noted that employees going through a divorce are bound to lose some of their potentials to produce output to the best of their abilities. Hence some leverage regarding their condition should be provided by the management.
However, the management should also decide to develop a threshold for the lowest productivity levels that are acceptable by the organizations. Hence if such thresholds are not maintained, then consultation with management will become obligatory.
7. Flexible Working Arrangements
Talking about work pressures, roles, duties, and responsibilities, any organization would love to help their employees to get back on track and move onwards with greater zeal and enthusiasm. There is a certain feeling of togetherness that is generated when an establishment reaches out to their employee and offers them a helping hand to hold onto during turbulent times.
This also comforts them to know that they still have things to look forward to, and there are still people around them who care about them. However, I would personally recommend the offer of flexible working arrangements for employees who are going through a divorce. This will allow them to manage themselves better and yet still remain productive during these situations. It’s a win-win solution for both.
8. Listen Attentively
To be direct, what is intended here is mindful listening. This is a method of listening that does not implore the subject to be judged or criticized. Managers should be offered training to develop this skill through certified courses as it will allow them to become aware of the internal thought processes of the people they manage as well as find out more insights into their reactions and interactions.
This will also help them to foster effective communication between team members. As a supervisor of an employee who is going through personal hardships like a divorce, you should open yourself towards discussion where you allow the person who is inflicted to talk the most while you listen to them attentively.
9. Genuine Compassion
Empathy is what makes the world go round. Without compassion and empathy for others, our world will collapse like a house of cards. That is why through the power of compassion, civilizations, societies, communities, and populations in general progress forward. As an organization, you must seek not just to develop a highly productive work environment but be able to make accommodations to facilitate those who need support.
Genuine compassion arises when you understand how each factor and element in the system upholds each other and plays a valuable role. In real life, we also find this example of ‘building blocks’ where if one block is removed, it disintegrates the rest’s stability.
10. Keep Them Productive
To tackle the disruption of work that divorce usually brings, managers and team leads along with the help of HR devise methods and strategies to support employees while keeping them productive at the same time. For starters, you should try your level best to make the work environment less stressful for them, a simple one on one discussion with employees regarding their current needs should be discussed clearly.
This should allow them to put forward their concerns for the management. The management, together with the employee, can then work out the best way to move forward. Secondly, all distractions and unnecessary disturbances from their work environments should also be removed.
11. Recommend Meditation
According to several pieces of research and studies conducted on the subject, mediation has often proven to be quite potent in combating work-related stress. It is highly advised that management either helps employees pursue healthy activities after work by themselves or creates an opportunity for them to receive meditation tips, guidelines, and enrollment into a credible class or routine through the organization.
Employees are indeed our most valuable assets, and investing in their well-being can ensure long-term tenure, which will eventually provide greater ROIs (return on investment). Students are also adopting meditational routines to reduce stress related to academics while hiring a custom essay writing service to manage their written work for them.
12. Spot Unhealthy Work Patterns
There are various ways through which employees can be monitored in regards to showcasing unhealthy work patterns. CCTV footage, employee tracking software, and even word of mouth and eyewitnesses can help management decide to take proactive actions to help employees who need their support.
No doubt, divorce can be quite an unsettling experience for many. As such, management should consider their condition and try to help employees out by getting them right back on track with their work responsibilities and daily agendas.
13. The Short Leave Option
Lastly, because organizations abhor absenteeism, there is a short leave option. In some cases, the severity of the drawback that a divorce may entail can cause the management to rethink their approach.
Hence you should consider giving a short leave only as of the last option. It is the right thing to consider because it would give both the employee and the organization to think about their options. The employee would get a break from work so that they can sort out their lives, while the organization can take this time to brew up a strategy to deal with such concerns and issues.
Management and organization should try to understand how employees feel, and the setback a divorce brings can indeed be quite profound. A supervisor or team manager should encourage employees to get back up on their feet rather than giving them the cold shoulder. Support works great even when those form which it is intended are unwilling to accept it in the first place.
People can often go in a state of denial, and it is up to us to make things right for them. I hope this post was able to provide you with some meaningful understandings regarding how you can aid employees after they have gone through a divorce.
For more questions about the topic, feel free to leave a mention in the comment section below.