Divorce is not as inevitable as death or taxes, but it is not an uncommon occurrence. The general consensus is that about half of all marriages end in divorce.
In a business context, according to one estimate, 1 in 10 employees will divorce in a given year. And according to the divorce financial analyst who offers that estimate, the effect divorce can have on an employer’s workforce can be huge.
The observation would seem to suggest that there are good business reasons for Minnesota employers to be sensitive to these personal-yet-personnel issues and consider how to promote reducing the stresses of divorce.
Using alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, is considered to be one good way to do that.
As the analyst lays things out, the year of the divorce is the one in which the affected employee will suffer the greatest drop in productivity. But she says the erosion actually starts the year ahead of the divorce, due to rising anxieties. She says it tends to continue for five years after the divorce. So the window of effect is seven years per individual and 70 percent of workers are at some point in that cycle at any given time.
Getting more specific, this expert says that it is estimated the divorcing employee may suffer a 40 percent decline in productivity just in the year of the divorce. Meanwhile, those around the person might suffer a 4 percent drop. Even the divorcee’s supervisor’s productivity can be sapped by having to deal with the issues.
The analyst’s bottom line is that divorce of an employee who makes $60,000 a year can cost an employer about $86,000 a year in lost productivity, so it makes sense for employers to be sensitive to managing what stressors they can.
Source: Nashville Business Journal, “The cost of divorce to employers,” Rosemary Frank, March, 10, 2014