The impact of divorce on employee wellbeing and engagement

How much is divorce costing your workplace? And what can you do about it?

Aynsley Jurson
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A global pandemic certainly has a way of teaching you a few things – about life, leadership and everything in between. When it comes to managing staff, it’s shown us just how important it is to focus on the whole person and lead with empathy, flexibility and understanding.

The best leaders recognise that work life and home life are intrinsically linked. That their employees have lives outside of the office. Lives that are messy and chaotic and challenging at times. By supporting people professionally and personally, these leaders are able to improve staff engagement and retention while boosting productivity and innovation.

If we know that great leaders see and support the whole person.

If we know that personal crises have a huge impact on people’s productivity and mental wellbeing.

And if we know that divorce is one of the toughest events our employees will ever experience. Why aren’t we supporting them through it?

I’m not just talking about giving them some time off to negotiate their settlement or move house. I’m not just talking about handing over a tissue and the phone number for the organisation’s confidential counselling line. I’m talking about helping them with the nuts and bolts of divorce by investing in their financial knowledge and empowerment. Yes, I’m talking about engaging a Certified Financial Transitionist® (CeFT®) to help employees get through their divorce with their confidence and financial safety intact.

I know what you’re thinking, Aynsley is a financial adviser, of course she wants employers to hire her. But hear me out. The benefits of doing this far outweigh the investment.

On the scale of stressful life events, divorce is second only to the death of a child. Studies have shown that marital breakdown is linked to an increased likelihood of developing serious physical and emotional disease including heart disease, diabetes, compromised immunity, depression and alcohol abuse. The impact on people’s health and wellbeing leads to diminished morale, time off work and compromised productivity. With one in three Australian marriages ending in divorce, this is significantly impacting your bottom line. Above that, as an empathetic leader, you don’t want to see employees that you care about struggle or become unwell.

Perhaps it’s time for all Australian leaders to ask themselves – How much is employee divorce really costing my business?

When you ask this question, you need to take into account the whole picture. Divorce has been recognised as a seven-year event. There’s the lead-up to the divorce, the actual process of getting divorced and the years that follow when your employees are still trying to find their feet and navigate the complexities of financial independence. During this time of upheaval, your employees might be physically present at work but distracted and disengaged. This is when errors are made, profits may be diminished and colleagues have to pick up the slack leading to dissatisfaction and potential burn out.

If you can help reduce the stressors your employees are facing during divorce, you will create a happier and healthier workforce. Your employees will feel seen and valued. And you will boost productivity, engagement and staff satisfaction.

One of the most stressful aspects of a divorce is sorting out the finances. There are a multitude of irrevocable decisions people need to make when negotiating their financial settlement and beyond. A divorce financial planner can reduce the overwhelm by prioritising decisions in order of urgency, improving financial literacy and helping your employee stay more calm and confident throughout the process. Better yet, if the financial planner is also a CeFT®, they will combine expert financial advice with emotional support and empathy.

I would love to see Australian businesses provide their employees with access to an expert financial adviser during divorce. It could be as simple as offering them a two-hour consultation or as comprehensive as providing them with a tailored financial planning package. I know the benefits to the employee and the employers would be plentiful.

Divorce may be a personal matter but its professional impact is profound. It’s time to rethink the way leaders and HR departments view divorce. It’s time to give staff the support they need to manage times of personal crisis. It’s time to lead the way in progressive modern leadership that really makes a difference.

If you’re ready to lead the way in offering employees the support they need when they need it most, I’d love to chat about tailoring a package to suit your business objectives. Please get in touch if you’re driven to improve employee wellbeing and productivity by supporting your people in time of personal crisis.

A bit about me

It’s fair to say I’m not your traditional financial adviser.

While I have decades of experience in financial services, I believe in leading with compassion rather than a calculator. As the Managing Director of Jurson Advisory, I empower busy professionals to make smart decisions before, during and after divorce. With the support of an expert team, I resolve any complex money matters so you can take charge of your finances and grow more hopeful and excited about the future.

Prior to setting up Jurson Advisory in 2015, I enjoyed a successful career as a Director at Goldman Sachs JBWere and a Senior Investment Adviser at Macquarie Bank. My desire to combine expertise with empathy, led to me qualifying as a Certified Financial Transitionist® and pioneering a new approach to divorce financial planning in Australia.

When I’m not financially empowering people through their divorce, you’ll find me gardening and spending time with my family in the idyllic Macedon Ranges.

Learn More

Aynsley Jurson and her company, Jurson Advisory Pty Ltd (ABN 53 605 826560) are authorised representatives of Fitzpatricks Private Wealth Pty Ltd (ABN33 093 667 595), holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL No.247 429).

The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. Before acting on the information, investors should consider its appropriateness having regard to their own objectives, financial situation and needs and obtain professional advice.

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