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A healthy workplace considers the performance of the organisation and the health of its employees

If adults on average spend at least a quarter to a third of their waking life at work (Harter, Schmidt, & Keyes, 2003) and job satisfaction accounts for a fifth to a quarter of life satisfaction in adults (Harter et al., 2003), it is understandable that many organisations spend a significant amount of time and energy developing, implementing, and monitoring health promotion programs (Grawitch et al, 2014, p.130) to improve the performance of the organisation and the health of their employees.

The headline finding in a UK study (Burnett et al: 2015) found that there was a positive association between Relationship Quality and Work Engagement that exists independently of the other work-centric, relationship-centric and socio-demographic factors. That is, high Relationship Quality would extend to improvements in Work Engagement. Likewise, improvements in Work Engagement would predict increases in Relationship Quality.

This study shows that it is in the employers’ interest to do what they can to maintain or improve levels of Relationship Quality among their staff. This could range from offering online relationship support or counselling through to having support available for those that could face relationship difficulties in the future (such as those becoming parents for the first time). Based on this evidence, employers should be encouraged to view Relationship Quality as an asset, and one that requires investment.

A stable, positive home/family life was shown to enable people to be more engaged in their work. By reducing Work-Family Conflict, this may improve Work Engagement. Further, it may improve Relationship Quality, which, in turn, may predict higher levels of Work Engagement, creating a virtuous cycle.

Companies wanting to increase their profitability will do well to realise that business takes place in the boardroom and in the family room. Whether married or cohabiting, studies of the best programs teaching relationship skills to adults, centred around commitment, communication, and conflict resolution show that these programs can successfully reduce conflict, improve satisfaction and reduce divorce across a variety of settings and socio-economic groups (Carroll & Doherty 2003; Stanley et al 2006; Stanley et al 2014).

Tune in next week to understand the impact of stress in the workplace and how it impacts relationships.


  • Burnett, S. B, Coleman, L, Houlston, C and Reynolds, J., 2015: Happy Homes and Productive Workplaces – Summary Report of research findings. OnePlusOne and Working Families UK
  • Carroll, J. & Doherty, W. 2003: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Premarital Prevention Programs: A Meta-Analytic Review of Outcome Research. Family Relations, 52, 105–118.
  • Grawitch, M.J., Gottschalk, M., & Munz, D.C. 2006: The path to a healthy workplace: A critical review linking healthy workplace practices, employee well-being, and organizational improvements.  Consulting Psychology Journal, 58, 129-147
  • Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Keyes, C. L. M., 2003: Well-being in the workplace and its relationship to business outcomes: A review of the Gallup studies. In L. M. Keyes & J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. 205–224). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
  • Sauter, S.L., Lim, S.Y., & Murphy, L.R., 1996: Organizational health: A new paradigm for occupational stress research at NIOSH. Journal of Occupational Mental Health, 4(4), 248–254
  • Stanley, S., Kline, G., & Markman, H. 2006: Sliding vs. Deciding: Inertia and the premarital cohabitation effect. Family Relations, 55, 499-509.
    Stanley, S., Rhoades, G. K. Loew, B. A., Allen, E. S., Carter, S, Osborne, L. J., Prentice, D., and Markman, H. J., 2014: A randomized controlled trial of relationship education in the US Army: 2 year outcomes. Family Relations, 63, 482-495

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

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