Muslim professionals caught in a bad marriage are denied promotion at work as it is assumed that they are not in a right frame of mind to handle additional responsibilities.
In the corporate world, the latest mantra in Human Resource Management is the stability in personal relationships. For the promotion and plum posting, one of the vital parameters considered is a stable relationship with the wife.
For many Indian professionals, sporting a happy family image is not only an emotional benefit, but also a pre-requisite for the individual’s corporate growth. Stability in personal relationships is a boon. With increasing work pressure, many professionals caught on the wrong family foot are denied promotion because there persists a deep-rooted tendency to linger in a bad relationship.
Primarily, because a family unit helps spin an image of stability, responsibility and mental peace and also reaffirms that individuals are supposedly accountable to themselves and their families. Hence, following the chart of progression, they will also be accountable to their jobs, and more important to their companies.
For busy professionals, remaining trapped in a bad marriage or relationship is a consequence of not wanting to let go of what they have at the moment. It also rests on the fact that a dysfunctional personal life can adversely affect professional life.
“Of course, a warped personal life does have an effect on your professional life. A divorce, separation are not easy things and especially, in the corporate space it boils down to stability and reliability. If you are seen unstable in your personal relationships, you are considered wanting, while discharging your professional goals,” says Dr Rasheeda Patel,a psychologist working with a Mumbai-based NGO.
Masood Ahmed, a Human Resource consultant, opines that as companies harp on sound corporate and social ethics, the need for workers with balanced lives is becoming important. “A balanced personal life is representative of a stable emotional environment. And with companies demanding the best out of their employees in high-pressure work environments, it is no surprise that family folks are given a leg up over others”, he said.
Professionals with unstable home fronts are considered having too many issues to tackle.
Consequently, many workplaces do a double take when it comes to rewarding their employees embroiled in personal crisis. Abdul Bari, a client servicing executive with an advertising agency realised that, when his divorce came through. Due for a promotion and a raise, he lost out to his female co-worker who was unmarried. Reason being, his boss felt that he was not in the right frame of mind to take on added responsibilities.
For many, personal instability is because of extra focus on the job front at the cost of family life. Later these prove as the greatest stumbling block on the road to progress as without emotional stability, the performance deteriorates.
The Corporate sector gets worried when it loses the best of talent because of instability in personal relationships of its star employees. To set matters right, many Human Resource managers resort to the spiritual formula. Three of the top corporate houses in Mumbai have a prayer room. Employees are encouraged to spend some time meditating or praying. “Meditation or prayers helps in cooling down the nerves and set up the process of introspection,” says HR consultant, Shabbir Khan. “ Many a times, bloated egos dilute the passion in the relationship and multiply the misunderstanding. Prayers inculcate humility in the individual and helps him see things in the correct perspective”, said Shabbir Khan.
Few of the companies allow the wife to accompany the husband on official tours. Many provide family accommodation. “Lack of privacy also strains the relationship. Hence, many companies provide family accommodation to its star employees”, said Shabbir Khan.
Saeed Hassan a software programmer with a IT multi-national continued to stay on in a bad marriage, primarily because he says that he was unable to maintain balance between family and profession responsibility. His personal crisis however had no significant bearing on his professional life. Instead, his supportive boss provided moral support.
Not wanting to lose its star software programmer, the company offered him outstation posting with family accommodation for two years. “ “Away from the urban setting, I re-discovered the beautiful relationship with my wife and we have a perfect understanding now”, said Saeed.
Scared and unable to initiate change in their personal front, many continue to remain trapped in bad marriages and are petrified of bringing about any change in their personal status. “India Inc. is warming itself to such souls, who have personal crisis as part of their itinerary”, says Dr Rasheeda Patel.
With performance pressure peaking, it is no surprise that many professionals do try to camouflage their personal worries and conflicts in order to build an image of stability and responsibility at the workplace.