In addition to my work as a Marriage Educator, I have for 35 years been paid to advise managers in major corporations on how to improve employee performance. There’s a strong link between the two. When a company tries to get more or better performance at the expense of an employee’s marriage, it backfires.
The latest to make this huge mistake? Those responsible for information technology (IT) in the United Kingdom.
A survey by the IT Job Board, reported in Tech Republic today, says more than half of these UK IT workers bring work home with them, and one out of every 14 puts in 60 to 75 hours a week, basically working two jobs for the price of one.
Is it a bargain for their employers? Hardly! When there’s no time for employees to enjoy a close relationship with their spouse or life partner, the company faces profit-draining consequences:
- Expensive presenteeism while employees deal with the stress of a failing relationship
- Time-sapping distraction of other employees with the complaints and concerns of an employee whose marriage is failing
- Costly extra absenteeism during a divorce and in the single-parenting aftermath
- Additional health care and disability costs for employees going through a marital crisis or divorce
- Increased risk of affairs with clients, competitors, or subordinates, with the possibility of sexual harassment lawsuits, leaked competitive information, lost contracts, and non-working time charged to your company or your clients
- For IT executives, increased risk of compensation details revealed during divorce proceedings or Sarbanes-Oxley ethics violations due to affairs
All these come on top of the performance hit suffered by all overworked employees in a field where attention to detail and creativity for problem solving are critically important.