We all know that work and family life are intertwined and research supports this demonstrating that employees who are highly committed to their roles as parents and spouses benefit companies. Conversely, employee performance and satisfaction occur easiest when outside influences like family are considered through workplace contracts and the provision of flexible work arrangements.
Whilst Australia has seen a declining rate of marriage since 1947 – similar to other western nations – today more than 70% of women will marry in their lifetime, 1 in 5 marrying at least twice, with 4 in 5 couples living together before marriage (an increase from less than 1 in 5 in 1975). Lasting an average of 12 years, 1 in 3 of these relationships will end in divorce, most occurring in their primary producing years, around 45 for men and 43 for women in 2016 (ABS, 2016).
Marriage however still confers certain unique benefits. Based on a wealth of academic research, married people tend to have healthier lifestyles, live longer, have more satisfying sexual relationships, have more economic assets, and have children that tend to do better academically and emotionally. When relationships go right, couples who stay together tend to be happier, healthier and ultimately wealthier (Waite & Gallagher 2000).
For the employee and for businesses, research suggests that happily married employees increase profitability (Turvey et al, 2006), and have the potential through strengthened relationships at home and with business partners to accelerate business growth.
Prevention programs are a great investment in employees with studies demonstrating that for every $1.00 invested in employee wellness programs, the return on investment is as high as $6.85 (Turvey et al, 2006).
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016.
- McLanahan, S., Tach, L., & Schneider, D. 2013: The Causal Effects of Father Absence. Annual Review of Sociology, 39, 399-427.
- Turvey, M. D., & Olson, D. H., 2006: Marriage & Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business? A Marriage CoMission Research Report. Minneapolis, MN
- Waite, L., & Gallagher, M. 2000: The case for marriage. New York: Doubleday.
Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.
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: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM
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