Should employers help with relationship problems?

Spoiler alert – the short answer is ‘yes’.

Companies should help people with their domestic romantic relationships.

And here’s why it’s appropriate and necessary…

Research by YouGov reveals that relationship problems at home are having a really big impact on how the UK’s high-earners are performing at work.

The research shows that more than 40% of people with household incomes of at least £100,000 have encountered domestic problems that were severe enough to significantly damage their productivity in the office.

Worryingly, employers were unaware, more often than not, that their staff were having problems with relationship problems.

The YouGov report found that most businesses were unaware of the relationship problems staff were having at home, with 66% of high-earners asked saying they had not informed their company of any difficulties.

This is probably down to a combination of a desire for personal privacy, a feeling that it is not a “proper problem” and the fact that most companies did not have the expertise to help.

It’s clearly time for everyone to wake up to this and for companies to broaden the support they offer.

We understand that some people will be reluctant to talk about their personal life and relationship problems with their employer.

A lot of people are going to feel that it’s just not any of their company’s business.

But that’s not a reason for firms to shy away from this.

Most employees are wary of talking about their mental health, but we think society has come to accept that employers have a role to play in maintaining it.

Help with romantic relationships is, we believe, a logical and straightforward next step.

How do we help?

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 performance 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 man and woman hold hands.

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Relationship breakdown and the workplace - YouGov Research Report

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