Does Work Performance Change When an Employee Goes Through a Divorce?Photo From pexels

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Are one of your employees going through a nasty divorce? Here’s how work performance can change when one of your employees is getting divorced.

Business can often feel like an unemotional effort. You check numbers, make rational decisions, and focus on profit margins. The truth is, there is a lot of personal emotion that can affect business and you have to prepare yourself for it.

Divorce is a common item here in the US and even abroad. For any business of decent size, your chances of having a few workers suffer through a divorce at some point can be high.

Divorce can have major impacts on work performance. The question becomes, what specific impacts can it have and how can you help? Let’s break down the issues.


Divorces come in all shapes and sizes and can affect any adult. The more emotional investment in the marriage switches into a devastating and distracting drain if divorce comes along. This gets even worse when you have to involve children.

This often leads to a devastating effect on work performance. Major anxiety from divorce can become a huge distraction and can even become a lack of sleep and personal care.

The stress of a divorce can also force irritability in the employee, which can make interactions with customers and other employees a minefield of issues.


One of the often unexpected pains of a divorce is that it is not a singular event. Often troubles will escalate for a few years before a divorce and the damaging fallout can last for years afterward.

Signs of trouble at home can manifest in late work or becoming distracted during work hours.

During and after the divorce can often showcase the worst effects of the divorce. Often after a nasty divorce, an employee can sink into a deep depression.

You have a lot of leadup and time to help shift the worst of these efforts, but this is a long term issue so prepare yourself for a long haul of help.


The position of the employee in question can alter how much divorce can affect their work performance and behavior. Keep this in mind as the divorce comes into play.

If they operate with customers a lot, the added stress of dealing with people can force out excess irritability. If the worst happens, you may have a lot of angry customers due to outbursts or dismissive attitudes.

If the employee has a more insular job away from other people, they may become depressive as they have no distractions from their own thoughts.

This issue, and other aspects, are some of the items you will need to understand if you wish to help your employees get the help they need.


When you have an employee that is going through a difficult divorce, it can be hard to know if and when to step in. Their drop in performance affects both your bottom line and their career future.

Stepping in requires finesse, so work with these simple steps to ease your way into it.

1. Acknowledge the Problem

Talking face to face with some is often the easiest way to make sure everyone understands a problem. Being open and caring doesn’t always come as a strong suit for everyone, so making sure you bring in help as needed. This is an important moment.

You don’t need every detail of their life. The important items here are expressing your desires to help, acknowledging issues both past and potential, and breaking down what changes may need to happen.

2. Help Them Find the Right Professionals

Divorce is a painful process, but it gets worse if the employee in question does not have the proper professional help.

First, a good divorce lawyer is often a lifesaver for messy divorce proceedings. Preparing for a divorce lawyer consultation is a major process, so giving them time off to settle the details may be a good idea.

Therapy can also be a powerful tool for getting through divorce. Therapy is not a sign of weakness but instead a sign of wanting to better yourself. Suggesting it is a good way to help outside the workplace.

3. Balancing Work Now for Better Work Later

When the big events start to happen, such as divorce court dates and legal meetings, they can make continuing to work hard.

Being flexible about your employee’s needs is a huge boon to the entire situation. You can shift hours around so that they can make the needed dates without missing work. You can also help them work from home.

4. Shifting Environments

Another aspect of flexibility may be the work environment itself. As shown above, often the position the employee works in can become detrimental at this time.

Moving them to a different part of the business they may feel more comfortable in can be a big help. Whether this is different employees to work with or a different position altogether should be a discussion you have with the employee.

Issues with other employees get worse during divorce times. It is best to not let the word of the divorce get out to the general company populace. This can lead to gossiping that can distract from work for everyone.

5. Separating Divorce From Work

The biggest thing to do is to work on separating the divorce issues from the work environment. All of the above help to provide changes to help make the issues more bearable.

If small changes come sooner then you can avoid more radical changes or even having to fire someone later on.

Extra time off, shifting schedules and environments, and professional help are huge steps you need to consider. They may seem like short term losses, but the long term boons will make a major impact. Invest in your employees.


Through all the numbers and profit margins, the strongest asset in your business is the wellbeing of your employees. When you have employees that feel respect and care from their employers, their work performance and loyalty increase.

Helping your employees like this is only one of many aspects of business that requires a lot of information and care. Whether you are keeping up with tech or trying to balance finances, there is so much to learn. Check out our other articles today!