Good Relationship Management Causes Partners to Perform Better at Home and Work

By Guest Author Hillary White

Many companies today do not take a particular interest in the well-being of its employees. However, if a company spent resources on relationship management programs, recent evidence indicates that both the employee and the company benefit in the long run.

Schaer, Bodenmann, and Klink suggest that experiences at the workplace and couple’s life are closely connected to each other and that unresolved stress in one domain affects the other domain in a significant manner. This means that stress in a person’s work has a negative effect on that person’s home life, and stress at home has a negative effect in a person’s work. Stress from one area tends to spillover into the other area. Parents who are overwhelmed at work tend not to be as good of parents as those who are not under the same stress. Conversely, people under stress at home tend to perform at a lower quality at work.

The authors tested the theory on 157 couples. The couples were split into three conditions/groups: Couples Coping Enhancement Training, an individual-oriented coping intervention, and a control group. Each training session totaled 15 hours over one weekend.

The authors suggest that companies should invest more in the well-being of the relationship of their employees in order to improve the success of the company overall. If a company spends time and money on relationship maintenance programs, then employees will perform better at work. The authors’ study suggests that Couples Coping Enhancement Training is the best program for companies to use. Couples Coping Enhancement Training is a preventative intervention that teaches couples how to cope with stress together and individually. This method is shown to be more successful than an individual coping method. Couples Coping Enhancement Training has shown to improve relationship quality. Couples who participate in Couples Coping Enhancement Training show a greater increase in communication skills and the ability to cope with stress together.

The authors advocate that if companies provide Couples Coping Enhancement Training to its employees, then productivity of employees will greatly improve. Most companies today do not take an interest in the personal lives and relationships of its employees. However, the findings suggest that companies which do take measures to ensure the success and well-being of employee relationships outperform companies that do not.

Schaer, M., Bodenmann, G., & Klink, T. (2008). Balancing work and relationship: couples coping enhancement training (CCET) in the workplace. Applied Psychology: An International Review , 57, 71-89.