Your marriage may be ruining your career. It’s true. There is a ripple effect. What happens when your day starts amuck? Is it hard to get your mojo back? What if your day started surrounded by comfort, joy and understanding? I bet you could conquer any obstacle put before you on the freeway, in the office or hiccups on your journey.
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PROGRAM IMPROVE RELATIONSHIPS
Microsoft believes this. They offer their employees an opportunity to attend The Gottman Institute’s Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop as part of their benefits package. Wonder why they value their employees relationships at home? Happy homes make happy employees. Strong relationships provide a sort of euphoria, initiating more feelings of satisfaction, acceptance, and positivity. Empowering people at home improves their outlook making them more content, secure, productive, creative, energetic and better team members at work.
Did you know there is more sickness in unhealthy marriages? Missed work puts a strain on your team, hurts productivity and adds to healthcare costs. Can you see how an investment in your employees well-being could actually positively impact your bottom-line?
I’ve been on a journey to improve my life through a dedicated focus to strengthen my relationships. I’m sure many of you can relate. I’ve attended seminars, workshops and read numerous books. Here are some of my takeaways:
It’s not your fault.
It’s scientific. 40 years of researching relationships have made LOVE A SCIENCE. There are actual things you do well and things you do to sabotage your intimacy in your relationships. You can make a change, with no judgment and no blame. With awareness and commitment, you can move forward. The Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop allows you the privacy to sort things out privately with your partner. It’s a safe environment and a positive place to tackle these important issues.
Treat your family as strangers.
What? They aren’t strangers. Do you treat the people at the grocer’s checkout stand better than your family? Do you listen? Ask questions? Make eye contact? Be empathetic? Or what about a family friend, do you offer them more mindfulness than you do with your family at home? What if you offered the same consideration to your family members as you do strangers? Just a thought.
Your partner is more important than your kids.
Shocking, isn’t it? The best thing you can do for your family is to treat your spouse with respect and kindness. Show how much you love your wife or husband consistently and publicly. Your kids will learn what a strong loving relationship is by your example. What if you got home, said a quick hello to the kids and asked where mom was so you could give her a big hug and ask how her day was? How would this make your wife feel? What kind of values and precedent would this set? Afterward, give the kids your undivided attention!
Do unto others as they would like, not as you would like.
Every person has different preferences and needs. Your perception may never change but your current partner is nothing like any of your previous partners. The person you share your life with NOW is the most important person and worthy of all your commitment and love. This one counts. Listen. Care. Feel. Understand. Act. Intimacy and an authentic connection can be strengthened in numerous ways. You can enhance your relationship if you try to accommodate your partner. Some people feel loved when you to do things for the house like cleaning the dishes or taking out the trash. Other people appreciate gifts. Yet, others desire your time and attention. Even touch varies person-to-person. In Italy, couples touches more than 200 times times a day. Alternatively, you could imagine England or Iran being significantly less. If you’d like to know more, there’s a quiz that you and your partner can take to find out your preferences (and, more importantly, your partners preferences) in the The 5 Languages of Love. Once you know more, you can do better!
Ask about happy times and struggles.
Ask your partner, in the morning, what his or her most important priority or plans for the day. At the end of the day, follow-up with an inquiry about how it went. If you cannot wait until the end of the day, send a thoughtful text with a supportive message. This could be a goodwill gesture that shows you care. Thus, reaping many benefits (none of which I will go into in a business article).
We all see things differently.
We have filters that we use to make sense of the world. These filters are influenced by our previous experiences, education, and interactions. Our socio-economic background and geographical factors also affect what we see and how we relate. To demonstrate this theory, think about the last car you bought. Let’s say it was a bright red Prius. I bet you see every bright red Prius driving by because this is now a focus of your filter. It’s all about perception. There isn’t really a definitive answer about right or wrong. It’s important to be able to listen without feeling like you need to agree or disagree. You could choose to just listen and accept, if you try. Also, accept that your perception is just a perception and your reaction is yours based on your filters. If you haven’t read this simple yet profound book, The Four Agreements, I highly recommend it for understanding more about these perceptive filters.
Don’t look back, look forward.
This is really about hope, positivity and appreciation. If we dwell on the past, we cannot move toward a better future. Think about what you could accomplish if you leave the past alone. See only what effort is being made to improve the relationship. See progress, not defeat. Show your partner appreciation for every successful step in the right direction. Goodwill gestures multiply and have a domino effect. Be kind to yourself as well. None of us are perfect!
Kiss your partner for 30 seconds at the door every time you leave the house.
Are you kidding? Take a moment now to count. One-one-thousand. Two-one thousand…up to thirty-one thousand. Ever tried to kiss that long? It is a long time. It takes commitment. It does create intimacy and connection, though. Oh, and brush your teeth (haha).
“First, Break All The Rules” is the first book to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the linkage between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and the rate of turnover. [source: Business Journal]. Managers are the key to success or failure. “Actively disengaged employees erode an organization’s bottom line, while breaking the spirits of colleagues in the process. Within the U.S. workforce, Gallup estimates this cost to the bottom line to be more than $300 billion in lost productivity alone.” [Source: Employee Engagement Overview Brochure]
Gallup Q12 Meta Analysis offers compelling reasons to gauge employees engagement and set goals for improvement. Gallup says, Gallup Q12 constitutes “the best predictors of employee and workgroup performance.” [source: Inc.] I would like to take a giant leap and say that 8 out of the 12 Elements of Great Managing listed below would be improved if your employees attended Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop.
12 Elements of Great Managing
- Q1: I know what is expected of me at work.
- Q2: I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
- Q3: At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- Q4: In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- Q5: My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- Q6: There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- Q7: At work, my opinions seem to count.
- Q8: The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.
- Q9: My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- Q10: I have a best friend at work.
- Q11: In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- Q12: This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
[Source: Employee Engagement Overview Brochure]
Can you see the correlation between improved employee health and well-being with strengthening connection and authentic communication?
If people are ‘better people,’ the results could be impactful for your organization. See the profits soaring??? Yes, there is a business case for treating your employees well and investing in their relationships at home. This Art & Science of Love Couples Workshop is just one way to nurture your employees health and well-being. I’m sure you may have other beneficial employee benefit programs to suggest. Please, do share!