The Impact of Divorce on Employee Productivity

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The Impact of Divorce on Employee Productivity

Michael Linick,  4th May 2018

Employees who go through a divorce may not be immediately able to function in high capacity in the workplace due to the divorce experience. This means the productivity in the workplace will be compromised due to the prolonged absence of the employee.

This situation usually affects small and medium businesses that have few workers; the temporary absence of a worker going through a divorce will be a setback because smaller companies may not be able to recruit new employees due to the additional costs of the process which can distort the businesses budget.

How does divorce compromise productivity in the workplace?

Divorce is a lengthy process; it usually lasts for as long as 5 months or longer in some cases. During this time, the employee will contend with different issues which may hinder their ability to offer the best services in their jobs.

Some issues that may arise due to an ongoing divorce process include:

  1. Absence from work: the employee’s presence will frequently be needed in the courtroom during legal proceedings hence they will be absent from work.
  2. Low Productivity:due to the emotional trauma and stress which accompanies divorce proceedings, the employee will find it quite difficult to remain productive in the workplace.
  3. Lack of focus: it is particularly dangerous for employees who work with tools that can cause injury during a divorce situation. The divorce situation will cause a distraction that will reduce the employee’s overall performance in the workplace.
  4. Resignation:In many cases, employees that are unable to cope with the trauma and distraction of a divorce will be compelled to resign from their jobs. Losing an employee in this manner will be detrimental to the long-term plans of the business especially when the employees occupy strategic positions that promote the achievement of the organization’s goals.

Providing support for employees going through a divorce

The huge impact of divorce makes it imperative that companies should find ways to support employees in this situation.

It is majorly the responsibility of the HR department to offer support to employees undergoing a divorce. A support system can be implemented in the following way:

  1. Every organization should have a divorce policy

It is important that the company managers are aware of the issues their employees are contending with at that time. A divorce policy makes it mandatory that employees disclose their situation and an appropriate plan will be made to address the period they may be absent from work and other ways they can be supported during the divorce.

  1. Preparatory measures

The employees (top executives and junior employees) should be trained to handle a divorce if it ever happens competently.

  1. An open-door policy

It is important that employees can freely approach the HR officers and their supervisors to enlighten them about the impending divorce so quick plans can be made ahead of the divorce.

  1. Offer support

It is important that your employee know the company is behind them through the divorce ordeal. This feeling will keep them encouraged to cope better with the divorce proceedings.

  1. Employee confidentiality

The data protection legislation makes it mandatory that sensitive issues such as divorce be kept confidential in the workplace. Only relevant information should be revealed to other employees when necessary.

  1. Provide access to experienced legal divorce attorneys

Depending on the case, your employee will need legal guidance such as a simple mediation or complex litigation proceedings. These attorneys like Divorce Attorney in Suffolk County have extensive experience when dealing with third parties such as the real-estate appraisers, forensic accountants, and pension consulting companies. They can help the employee get back to a normal life quicker after the divorce has been completed.

 Provide access to professional therapists

These therapists can help employees going through a divorce to manage the stress attributed to the situation. The employees will learn how to balance their official responsibilities. They will also be able to create enough time to study areas such as pension valuation, tax information, and other crucial areas that will be involved in the divorce proceedings.


Michael has worked in Employee Engagement for over six years as Consultant, Project Manager, Account Manager and – most recently Client Success Manager roles.  He works with major national and international companies to help them gain maximum benefits from employee feedback.

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