Mental Health & Relational Health – At What Cost?

Common sense would tell you that fundamental and long-lasting mental health issues are going to damage workplace productivity more than shorter-term relationship issues.

But that is not to say that these shorter-term relationship problems do not have a significant impact – and, very often, relationship problems are the actual trigger for the worsening of an underlying mental health issue.

Clearly, companies should invest in the mental health of their staff because it is the right thing to do for all concerned.

But they should also be equipping their employees to deal better with romantic relationship issues.

It might not be quite as severe a problem as mental health, but it is still a problem that is having a significant effect on performance at work.

Research done for us by YouGov reveals that more than 40% of people with household incomes of at least £100,000 have encountered domestic relationship problems that were severe enough to significantly damage their productivity in the office.

Meanwhile, the latest UK Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey found that 43.4% of adults felt they have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life.

It’s right that the issue of poor mental health is addressed because the damage to all parties can be great when it comes to productivity.

Poor mental health was recently estimated by Deloitte to cost UK employers £33 billion to £42 billion every year.

Firms spend a lot of money trying to tackle it. They do it because it is the right thing to do for their staff and also because it improves their bottom line.

But these same firms are doing virtually nothing about something that also has a very serious impact on well-being and performance.

We feel that companies should also be investing in helping staff improve and maintain their domestic romantic relationships because it’s a problem that is – purely in percentage terms – comparable with the issue of mental health.

How do we help to improve productivity at work?

Well, we don’t have one tip for improving productivity at work – we have four!

These four habits allow people to strengthen or repair their romantic relationships and improve their performance in the workplace.

The 4 Habits for better productivity at work are…

  • Be CURIOUS, not critical – which helps people get over the hurdle of frustration that comes from unmet expectations.
  • Be CAREFUL, not crushing – which helps people get over the hurdle of poor conflict resolution approaches and the damage they can cause in relationships.
  • ASK, don’t assume – which helps people get over the hurdle of frustration that comes from mistrust and disrespect that can creep into relationships over time.
  • CONNECT before you correct – which is all about getting better at communicating real value and appreciation, and holding back on that need to give “constructive feedback” that so many of us are all too good at!
A young man sits alone with his head in his hands.

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Relationship breakdown and the workplace - YouGov Research Report

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